Penelec Announces Winners of "Merry & Bright" Photo Contest

ERIE, Pa., Jan. 18, 2016 -- An Erie, Pa., resident is the winner of Pennsylvania Electric Company's (Penelec) second-annual "Merry & Bright" Holiday Lights Photo Contest, a competition conducted on the company's Facebook page.

Grand prize winner Israel Medina received more than 1,000 votes out of more than 2,600 total votes cast on Facebook.  She will receive a $250 gift card.

"Once again, participants in our 'Merry & Bright' Holiday Lights Photo Contest developed some of the most spectacular holiday scenes in Pennsylvania," said Rosemary Spoljarick, manager, Community Involvement, FirstEnergy.  "Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit our Facebook page to enter the contest and vote for their favorite display."

Customers were encouraged to submit photos of their homes' outdoor lighting displays on the Penelec Facebook page during the first several weeks of December.  Ten finalists were selected from all entries, and visitors to Penelec's Facebook page voted to select the winners.

The holidays are Medina's favorite time of year, and she has been decorating her home for the last four years.  Her display included approximately 40,000 lights and incorporated themes such as The Christmas Story and The Virtual Grinch.  The display also featured a laser show and inflatable, 8-foot bears on the porch.  Visitors could tune into a dedicated radio station to hear more than 50 holiday songs as they passed by.

"Growing up, we never had many houses decorated for Christmas, so I always planned to do this when I had own my house," Medina said.  "I would like to thank Penelec for selecting our home as a finalist, and for everyone that voted for us on Facebook.  Winning the contest made 2015 a wonderful year!"

First prize winner Brian Rydbom of Coalport, Pa., received more than 620 votes on Facebook. He will be awarded a $100 gift card.  Rydbom's 1-acre property displayed more than 48,500 lights with decorated sheds, trees and garage, blow-up decorations, a patriotic display, gardens and a corral.  Next year, he plans to create a singing snowman to complement his singing Christmas tree.

View the winning photos on the Penelec Facebook page or on Flickr.

Penelec is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE).  Penelec serves approximately 600,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties.  Learn more about Penelec at  Follow Penelec on Twitter @Penelec and on Facebook at

Flickr is a registered trademark of Yahoo, Inc.

CONTACT: Christy Hajoway, (330) 374-6544

Last Modified: July 19, 2017