Submitted to Branson Globe
Whenever there is a colorful display of lights lit against a dark sky, its purpose is to serve as an encouragement to those who view it. Encouragement and thankfulness are exactly the reasons a new light display has been installed at Cox Medical Center, Branson. Its purpose is to encourage the community during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Were doing it in a patriotic red, white and blue,” said Tammy Peters, owner of North Pole Productions. “We wanted to do something special for the community at large. Branson is so committed to veterans and first responders, so we thought it only appropriate to build the display.”
The lights will be on the east lawn of the hospital campus near Urgent Care. The 8-foot by 16-foot design, crafted locally, boldly proclaims, “Believe in Branson.”
“Our designer Colin Barr came up with conceptual,” Peters said. “Travis Mathews fabricated the display. Dallas Rich and Anthony Massimino did the finishing touches.”
There are approximately 1,000 LED representing Branson’s support for the nation during the present crisis. The words of the display are a rallying cry that calls upon Branson’s confidence, optimism and resilience to overcome this tremendous, but temporary challenge.
“I wanted to give something to a community who has given so much to me, and is hurting right now,” said Peters, “This is something my team and I could do to help, in our own unique way. We’ve been proud to contribute to the Christmas celebration in this area for nearly 15 years. Branson is a very special place and no pandemic is going to change that for long.”
For many years during the Christmas season, North Pole Productions holiday décor has been lighting up drive-through displays hosted by the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB and many other holiday creations throughout the city. Recently, it helped create “Let There Be Lights” hosted by the Promised Land Zoo on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway.
The Cox Medical Center Branson campus location was chosen for its relevance to the crisis, its visibility in the community and the willingness of their team to host and provide power to the display.
“We are so pleased to partner with the Branson Christmas Coalition to bring a message of hope to the community we love,” said Brandei Clifton, communications manager, Cox Medical Center Branson.
“‘Believe in Branson’ is the perfect sentiment for us right now. Believe in each other, believe in kindness and compassion and believe Branson will be back better than ever.’”
The Branson Christmas Coalition is a non-profit community organization, dedicated to growing visitation and enhancing the Ozark Mountain Christmas season in our region. Its volunteer Board of Directors continues to work year-round to engage the community, secure resources, and inspire the creativity necessary to make “Branson: America’s Christmas Tree City.”
“We were thrilled to help coordinate this effort,” said Ann McDowell, executive director of the Branson Christmas Coalition. “We’ve worked with Tammy on commercial Christmas tree buying and a number of holiday displays over the years, so we’re very familiar with her quality work and genuine love for this area. She had the idea that her donation could help rally the community and literally ‘brighten’ a difficult time. All we had to do was assist with a few details.”
The Coalition Board and a few other community leaders shared ideas, by email, about the best wording for the display.
“‘Believe in Branson’ was chosen because we thought this message would help unite our community and give hope for better days ahead. We believe, with God’s love and grace, our area will prosper again soon.”
The ‘believe’ theme also ties in with the marketing campaign being implemented by the Branson/Lakes Area CVB. ’We believe’ has been used to communicate attributes Branson shares with its visitors and potential visitors in print, broadcast and digital media across the country.
Area residents are encouraged to drive by to see the “Believe in Branson” display any evening after dark and to use #BelieveInBranson on positive social media posts about the community. Local businesses can participate in a new campaign from the Branson/Lakes Area CVB, by utilizing their storefront windows, sidewalks, parking lots and marquees to send appreciative messages to future guests and visitors. Cox Medical Center Branson also has its own Christmas lights turned on during this time. And they will sparkle along with ‘Believe in Branson.’
“It will be lit dusk to dawn each day,” Peters said. “We wanted to give a breath of light to the community and say ‘thank you’ to all the Branson community for making Christmas such an important part of its rich history. The staff medical team and first responders are the beating heart of our community.”
(Staff writer Brenda Meadows contributed to this article)