The Journal Gazette
Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:00 am

For Wells County, Christmas lights shine

Production company owner helping combat virus fears

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Fear. Uncertainty. Anxiety. 

They're words that in recent weeks have gripped Americans worried about the new coronavirus that has upended the lives of millions. 

Quinn Kumfer wants to replace them with faith, hope and love. To do that, he suggests a little light – literally. 

The owner of a video production and marketing company in Bluffton, Kumfer is the man behind #LightUpWells. It's an effort to look past the doom and gloom of daily death counts and negative COVID-19 news through lighting up the Wells County community in Christmas lights. 

He announced the project this week in a 3-minute video posted to Facebook. 

“I wanted to find a way to tell everyone that everything would be okay as long as we came together and supported one another during these times,” Kumfer said in an email Wednesday. “As a creative, the most effective way for me to do that was to bust out the camera and go to these struggling small businesses to capture what they were doing to pivot and try to stay alive.

“I just hope that we can bring a smile to someone's face.”

The video, which he said had drawn about 10,000 views since it was posted Tuesday, includes images of shopkeepers and restaurant workers as a voice-over relays messages of hope and camaraderie. 

“As the world seems to change by the hour around us, we must not abandon hope,” the video says. 

The message asks residents to hang holiday lights. 

“Sure, it sounds strange, but what in the last month has been normal,” it says. 

It's a simple thing, but it's catching on. Kumfer said 10 businesses have lights up, and “tons of individuals have sent me pictures of their living rooms, outside lights, etc.”

Even Bluffton Mayor John Whicker wants to hang lights at City Hall, Kumfer said. 

“I won't pretend to have all of the answers or to try and become some wanna-be beacon of hope,” he said. “I just want to make people happy. Simple as that.”

The video is posted at

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