Christmas lights shine for food bank

Lights and handmade film characters on display until Dec.31.

Paula and Perry Balascak started decorating their house at the start of November. Below

Thousands of LED lights are strung across Paula and Perry Balascak’s home in a display akin to Clark Griswold’s in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Perry Balascak, along with his 16-year-old son Tyler, worked on the display every day for a month, checking every bulb, to get it ready.

“I really don’t know how many lights are in the display. I tell people about a month’s worth,” said Perry.

He started the display in 1999 and has been adding to it ever since.

Now the couple has close to 40 handmade characters on their lawn.

All of the characters are outlined on a piece of wood by Paula, cut out by Perry, then hand-painted by her.

New this year are the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch stole Christmas and his dog Max.

Paula was hoping to do Cindy Lou Who, as well, but ran out of time.

“Perry sorts through all these meticulous boxes that are labeled so that everything is itemized. If he didn’t have this so organized, it would not be up and running by now,” said Paula.

Perry has been suffering from Type 1 diabetes for 48 years, but still finds time to put up this display.

For the past 12 years, he has also been on the committee for the St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope Foundation.

The couple is collecting donations of non-perishable food items for the Friends in Need Food Bank in a marked container at the end of their driveway.

Their house at 23025 – 125A Avenue in Maple Ridge will be lit up every night from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. until Dec. 31.

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