Neon puppets light up the holidays

Light of Hope Community Church performed its “Dream of Neon Puppets” play for kids last Saturday

Photo by Corey Evan, The Valley Chronicle
Pastor Larry Diggs presents a gift basket to a winner.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Light of Hope Community Church of Hemet hosted its annual puppet show on Saturday, December 17 at the Hemet High School Performing Arts Center as a way to not only tell a great story under black lights… but also give kids a chance to win an extra Christmas present.
Pastor Larry Diggs whipped the crowd into a frenzy as each act came on. The puppet show had the feel of a variety show. As such, a whole variety of Christmas acts showed up. These included a techno remix of the Sugar Plum Fairy. There was even a visit from the Veggietales cast, who sang about a Polish Christmas.
Sheila Diggs, the pastor’s wife, coordinated the puppet show: “Every year, we do a show for the community; we call it, “A dream of neon puppets,” she said.” It’s an awesome show; we make neon dolls come to life. Sometimes we do it through the year, but today we’re giving away so much stuff.”
There was also an opportunity drawing, where $1 could win an awesome gift basket. For this, there was no shortage of excitement. There were toys, movies, candies, and more.
This show being a church production, the message was centered on Jesus Christ. “It’s a very positive show; we always uplift Jesus Christ. We have a good time doing that, people understand this time of year he’s still alive. He’ll always be alive.”
The event, with Light of Hope being in the giving spirit, benefited local special needs kids. In fact, Sheila Diggs points out that her son has special needs and responded well to neon lights when she demonstrated neon puppets for him. She says he’s part of the inspiration for the event.
The “Fantastic Dream Team” has been putting this show on for 10 years now, and expresses their gratitude to HHS Theater department Chair Bret Cherland and the Little Lake Fire Station, for their help in coordinating the event. They also wish to thank local businesses including Dollar Tree that chipped in for the opportunity drawing.
“It’s a big show, and we love doing it,” says Sheila Diggs. “We [entertain] …the kids in the community, and we just have a really good time.”
For those who came for the goodies and stayed for the show, it was a colorful experience that could only be described as a light shining forth in the darkness.

Photo by Corey Evan, The Valley Chronicle
Saturday’s puppet show included an opportunity drawing for the kids.

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