Apopka adds Menorah to annual holiday light display

By Bailey Myers, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017, 6:21 PM EST

A young lady's request for inclusivity from her city has been answered.

  • Apopka added a Menorah to its holiday light display in Kit Land Nelson Park
  • Naomi Grabish first requested Hanukkah decorations when she was 6
  • Apopka bought the Menorah outright, so it is a permanent fixture

We first told you about Naomi Grabish and her request for Hanukkah decorations in the city of Apopka earlier this year.

This year, Christmas lights aren't the only ones making an appearance in this year's Apopka holiday lights display.

"I was like, no way -- this is unbelievable. It came true!" Naomi said about the first time she spotted the lights.

For years, Grabish fought for Hanukkah lights to go up in her community. She even sent the mayor of Apopka a letter when she was six. But her plea went unanswered until this year, following a News 13 broadcast about the request.

Now, at nine years old, her letter's request was answered with an electric Menorah light added to the display.

"I was happy to include the Menorah as part of the decorations in the park, because it does include that spirit of inclusiveness that we all think is so important," said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer.

When we asked why Naomi's request went unanswered for so long, he explained it was something they've been working on since Naomi's letter.

"I think we just didn't find the right Menorah at the right price to include it last year," Kilsheimer said.

The city of Apopka didn't just rent the Menorah light, they outright bought it, which means it will be a permanent fixture in their holiday light display -- reappearing year after year. 

"It meant a lot and I think it meant a lot to the other Jewish people that were there," Naomi said.

Grabish says she just hopes her efforts to get this Menorah lit up in Apopka will inspire others to recognize this time of the year is about celebrating everyone of all religions.

The Menorah light is now part of the annual tree lighting ceremony in Kit Land Nelson Park, in the heart of Downtown Apopka.