Central family raising money for girl with Cerebral Palsy through Christmas light display
CENTRAL, La (NBC33) — It's hard to miss the big Christmas light display across from Central Middle School in Central, LA. And, although the lights have a huge impact, it's the impact on one girl's life that make a difference here.
James Hohensee's family built the light show. "Every year you want to do better than you did the last year, and so it's a constant upgrade," he explains.
The Hohensee family started their special show four years ago. The first upgrade was turning it into a fundraiser for a family with a special needs child. Shannan Hohensee says, "We check with the newspapers, check with the schools, and just see who we feel, as a family, who we feel would benefit the most."
This year, they chose the Harvey family. Their daughter Aliyah has cerebral palsy and needs treatment in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Aliyah's mother, Anitra Harvey says, "And Aliyah, now she's getting of age where she can pay attention to the lights and listen to the radio, and so it was pretty cool."
There are 80,000 lights, synced to music that plays through the radio. Cars park along the street and watch all night long. The family tells us, they've had a grandmother that picks her two grandsons up every afternoon from school, and they stay to wait for the lights to come on, and they watch the lights every day before they go home.
Many people get out of their cars, come up to this display, and learn about Aliyah. They sign the guestbook and give a few dollars. Lights, community, action. Kris Harvey says, "That's kinda what Christmas is about, I guess. And what they're doing for special needs children, and the community in general, it's just a wonderful thing. And we're grateful to be a part of it and very thankful."