Realities For Children 26th annual tree lighting celebration on December 1

Nov 16, 2023 | Member News

Fort Collins (November 15, 2023) – Realities For Children invites the community to attend the 26th annual tree lighting ceremony from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 1, at First Presbyterian Church, 531 S. College Ave.

This free community event, presented by Blue Federal Credit Union, features live entertainment, complimentary hot drinks and cookies, a visit from Santa Claus, entry to win a 30-pound chocolate Santa, a chance to win a $125 SCHEELS gift card, and concludes with the lighting of the 50-foot iconic blue tree.

Blazen Illuminations has designed the NightLights tree, which boasts more than 30,000 programmable LED pixels, creating unique visual effects and a musical light show. The tree’s lighting display will premiere at the NightLights celebration and runs every night at 15-minute intervals throughout December. The NightLights tree is blue to represent the international color of child abuse prevention and bring awareness to the very real issues of child abuse and neglect.

“The issues of child abuse in our community are overwhelming,” said Craig Secher, Realities For Children Executive Director. “Last December alone, we served 5,352 children and hope to raise enough to serve all in need. We are genuinely grateful for each light purchased, which serves as a beacon of hope for so many children in our community.”

NightLights is Realities For Children’s largest fundraising outreach each year, from November 1 through December 31. As the organization strives to keep up with the growing needs and demands of the children they serve, they encourage community members to help them reach further in service by donating a light on the NightLights tree. Thanks to all the NightLights sponsors, 100% of every donation goes to the Realities For Children Emergency Fund, benefiting children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, or at-risk.

Secher adds, “When you help take a child out of the darkness of abuse by giving them a nightlight this holiday season, you help bring hope through the collective support of our Partner Agencies we work with to see that no child in need is forgotten.”

To learn more about this free event or how to donate, visit

About Realities for Children:

Realities For Children was incorporated in 1995 and has been funding the unmet needs of Larimer County children who have been abused, neglected or are at-risk. Realities For Children works collaboratively with 40 Partner Agencies and represents nearly 270 Business Members invested in making it their business to make a difference. Last year, Larimer County fielded 6,289 referrals of child abuse and neglect. We strongly believe the collaboration is the path to the greatest change.

In 2022, Realities for Children provided:
• Provided emergency services for 5,094 children.
• Youth activities and Homebase facilities space for 5,240 children and guardians.
• Distributed needed items to 18,174 children.