For more than 36 years, Noah Homes in Spring Valley has provided residential care and choices for adults with developmental disabilities. Enchanted Village, now in its third year, has become Noah Home’s second highest net fundraiser of the year, and this year the event continues.
Molly Nocon, Noah Homes CEO, said they could not see cancelling the event, number one reason due to its budget, and the fact it loves the event so much and still wants its residents to be able to connect with the community as best as they can with the COVID pandemic.
“Our phenomenal mighty team got together and decided we could create a drive-thru experience as magical and beautiful as our walk event,” she said. “We are creating a COVID-compliant, county-approved drive-thru that is from Dec. 18 to 23. This experience will keep families safe in their cars and our residents as well.”
Nocon said many people can still come enjoy the holiday magic and the spirit of Christmas, Hanukah and the different experiences with this year’s creation.
“There is a phenomenal 20-foot-tall magical Christmas tree that will be singing songs and lighting up to the music,” she said. “It is the largest outdoor Christmas tree in East County. There are a series of stops, to talk to the elves at the train station and the underwater event. A visit from Santa with a photo and some other great surprises.”
Nocon said this event is special and important for its residents, who have been on lock- down since March 13. She said they had to change routines and programming as it is normally attended in person but, with the help of staff, residents still have an active everyday schedule.
“We have kept them safe and thank God, no COVID has come to Noah,” she said. “Our residents want to stay connected to the community and this is a way for them to do that. It is a way for them to be employed. We want them safe, but we have come up with some creative ways for them to still be involved in it. They are excited to be a part of it.”
Nocon said Noah received a few grants to increase its network and internet capability for residents to stay in touch with their families. She said keeping that family connection is a primary focus.
“It has been really hard for them, but we are working on getting a big chunk of them to go home for Thanksgiving as long as we can keep them safe and their roommates safe,” she said.
“We say a lot of prayers that everybody does what they are supposed to do and keep everyone safe when they go home and come back. We have the Noah bubble going on, so we try to keep everyone safe in the Noah bubble.”
Nocon said at the Enchanted Village they will be able to do both, keep everyone safe and give them a phenomenal experience. “We are happy that we can create something that someone can come and enjoy,” she said.
Enchanted Village was created when Noah worked with a woman who created The Magical Forest in Las Vegas. Nocon said when she saw the property, she knew they could create the same experience. By the second year, it nearly netted as much as Noah Homes Summerfest and is still expected to generate enough funds to meet or exceed Summerfest this year. She said the event can handle around 50 cars every half hour.
“We will be able to bring in many people with the numbers of cars coming in,” she said. “I think we will do well. The state is not going to increase our budget, so we are not in a position not to have fundraisers.”
Nocon said stay tuned to its website www.enchantedvillage.org for all information, and that Noah is working with the County to have a COVID complaint, outdoor dining experience underneath the Christmas tree for immediate families.