ROCHELLE – A local couple are spreading Christmas cheer to the entire block with an extravagant light display, while also raising money for an important cause during this season of giving.
This is the 11th year that Ray Voss and his wife, Carolyn, have set up a Christmas light display at their home — 239 Phyllis Avenue — for the community to view. The display consists of more than 23,000 lights timed perfectly to twinkle on and off to the beat of 10 different songs. From beginning to end, the show lasts approximately 25 minutes and even has an FM transmitter so people can listen in their cars.
The idea for the light display began from seeing something similar on television.
“It started with one of those crazy Christmas light shows on T.V. and I thought that would be pretty cool,” said Ray. “They said what the program was to run it so I googled it, and here I am with about 23,000 lights.”
When the show first began it had two controllers each hooked up to 16 strands of lights, now it has grown to 14 controllers hooked up to more than 120 different strands of lights.
As well as putting the display on for the public to come and see, Voss also has a donation box set up outside in which all of the funds are given to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He has been collecting and donating funds to them for the last 10 years and has donated more than $23,000.
“I chose St. Jude because it is just one of those charities that everybody can relate too,” added Voss.
Ray and his wife begin putting the lights up the first week of November and run them from 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday through the first or second week of January.
Through the years of putting on the light display, the Voss’s have heard many different responses from the community when they come to see his lights.
“I have heard many different things from ‘my wife died and it was a tradition of ours to come see your lights’, to people comments about people who have had children in St. Jude’s before,” added Voss.