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This time of year, in Elizabethtown, motorists drive by a project important to Billy Pait. For more than a decade he has volunteered on the Christmas in the Park committee.
Pait became involved with the annual event through his work at Nolin RECC. He’s worked at Nolin RECC for 23 years, starting in engineering and now he’s with member services and marketing.
From the beginning of Christmas in the Park, the company created an archway welcoming visitors to the park. Pait was involved in designing and setting up that display. He gradually became more involved and after some shuffling of job responsibilities at the company, he became a part of the Christmas in the Park organizing committee on which he’s voluntarily served for 12 years.
One of the biggest changes he’s seen over those years is in LED lighting for displays. It’s a change Pait is proud of.
People don’t realize how much the electric bill is for the lighting displays, he said. Visitors’ donations pay the bill.
Also, there were problems with many displays. Cords couldn’t pull the electrical load the lights required, he said. Others had problems with bulbs breaking.
Because using LED was cheaper than calling an electrician to see why the displays were not working, many display owners decided to switch to LED lights, he said.
About two years ago, the Christmas in the Park committee found a great opportunity to buy a large supply of LED lights at a low price. Because of that, Pait and the committee were able to upgrade most of the displays owned by Christmas in the Park. Many of the displays owned by area businesses also have switched.
He hasn’t seen broken bulbs and wattage used has been cut by more than half. The switch has saved about $1,000 in energy costs each year.
Another benefit of the bulbs is they hold their color better and do not fade with age.
Along with Christmas in the Park, Pait likes to volunteer in a variety of ways.
“I feel like I’m just there to help out,” he said.
He’s also involved in Junior Achievement and passionate about downtown Elizabethtown renewal.
Over the years, he’s volunteered in whatever sport his kids have played. He coached soccer for 11 years and served on a soccer commission for three years. His youngest daughter Rachel, a freshman at Elizabethtown High School, plays softball.
“If there’s something that my kids or family are involved in and they need someone to help, I say, ‘Yeah, sure. I’ll do it,’” he said.
That often leads to tasks others don’t like. Some people don’t like concession stand duty, but he enjoys it because he can see friends he hasn’t seen in a while and chat.
“I enjoy helping people,” he said.
Pait also has served on the city planning commission for 12 years. He was appointed to the committee after finishing a Leadership Elizabethtown class.
Through the planning commission he saw an opportunity to change things.
“I was raised that if you see something you don’t like not to just complain about it but to do something about it,” he said.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting to know Billy Pait: