(THE NEWS/files)

(THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge couple forced to give up Christmas display

Health reasons have forced Paula and Perry Balascak to scale back annual display

A Maple Ridge couple known for their extravagant Christmas light display in support of the Friends In Need Food Bank will not be going all out this year.

Every year Paula and Perry Balascak with help from their son Tyler put up thousands of Christmas lights and wooden characters on the roof of their house and across their lawn.

Perry started the display in 1999 and had been adding to it year-by-year. As of last year they had 42 hand-made wooden characters, painstakingly outlined on a piece of wood by Paula, cut out by Perry and then back to Paula to be painted. Last year they made a Grinch scene from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas including the Grinch, his dog Max and Whoville signs.

However Perry was rushed to hospital on March 24 due to complications from type 1 diabetes. He contracted a streptococcus infection in his right toe and in April the digit was amputated. Perry was in hospital for a month and has trouble with his balance.

So, the Balascak’s have decided that they won’t be doing the display again this year.

Perry is devestated, but the couple will be donating all of their wooden displays to the Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park. Earlier this year he donated $30,000 worth of electrical products to Bright Nights after their displays were hit by thieves who stole the copper wires and extension chords. He will also continue working on the committee for the St. Paul’s Lights of Hope Campaign in downtown Vancouver.

Encouraged by his 17-year-old son Tyler, he will also be keeping the 25 boxes of Christmas lights he has collected over the years to put up a simpler but nice display in front of the house.

“He still is adamant to do a light display. He wants to decorate it up beautifully. It might be simplified in the lighting, but it will be nice,” said Paula who added that the community is still welcome to admire the lights, but they won’t be collecting donations for the food bank.

Just Posted

During a recent late afternoon, with a nice breeze blowing through her Maple Ridge backyard, Zoe Bell caught pictures of a hummingbird visiting her garden, then about 30 minutes later a “beautiful butterfly” arrived to help the boths, bees, and other insects pollinate. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Searching blooms for sweet nectar

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

LETTER: Writer questions spread of variant and timing of vaccinations

Will there ever be a return to normal, or will people need to invest in respirators?

A family of geese wandered through the beach area of Whonnock Lake recently. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Whonnock Lake visitors marvel at cute goslings

Defecating fowl can also bring with them potential issues for Maple Ridge park

Edward Wang shared this picture of an alpaca amid a field of hay in Pitt Meadows, seeking a little shade under the summer-like skies. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Grazing in the field

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Sandie Bannie is opposed to Pitt Meadows council move to put an RCMP detachment in a park. (Special to The News)
LETTER: Pitt Meadows resident opposed to costly RCMP detachment for small population

Letter writer urges residents to voice opposition before June 28 deadline

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read