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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, January 01, 2019 1:45 pm

Verbatim: Fantasy of Lights finale moved to tonight by flooding

The Journal Gazette

Blue Jacket Inc. issued this news release today:

FORT WAYNE -- Blue Jacket’s Fantasy of Lights will open for one additional evening tonight, January 1, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a “Pay What You Want Night” to thank the community. The final scheduled evening of the light show, on New Year’s Eve, was cancelled due to the flooding of nearby Spy Run Creek in Franke Park. Blue Jacket officials were disappointed for their patrons, but ultimately decided they needed to close for safety reasons.

“We were as disappointed as those we had to turn away last night due to flooding,” said Blue Jacket Executive Director Tony Hudson. “This community is very good to Blue Jacket and we are excited to be able to give back in this small way. I hope those who were not able to go through last night will come back out this evening.”

Blue Jacket experienced record attendance at the holiday event again this year and the “Pay What You Want Night” is a way for the organization to give back.

Blue Jacket, Inc. is a local nonprofit serving the hard to employ through pre-employment training and job placement. Blue Jacket’s Mission is to provide training and opportunities to anyone with a barrier who is striving to earn gainful employment.

The event helps to fund Blue Jacket’s Career Academy, a two-week, 40-hour training program in which Blue Jacket provides job-readiness training. Following graduation from the program, Blue Jacket provides transitional jobs, job placement, and pre- and post-placement services including education, skills and interest assessments, and personal and professional development.

The Career Academy was highlighted this year when Blue Jacket decided that, instead of using the 450 volunteers to staff the event as they have done in previous years, they hired 17 graduates of their program to work the event.

“This year we put our money where our mouth is.” said Tony Hudson, Executive Director of Blue Jacket. “We're in business to train and employ people, so here's this wonderful two-month opportunity to be able to employ our Blue Jacket clients.”

If you are interested in participating or sponsoring a display for 2019, email Pothast at kpothast@bluejacketinc.org, or call 260-744-1900.