James Blake of East Patchogue has been putting on a fantastic holiday display for his neighborhood for decades, with over 25,000 lights illuminating the outside of his house.
“I’ve always loved the holidays,” says Blake, whose display takes over 200 hours of work.
Now in his 60s, he is using his festive passion for a greater cause.
Blake and his family have teamed up with the Make-A-Wish foundation to raise money for those with life-threatening medical conditions.
“I lost my sister last October and she was into the Make-A-Wish foundation,” said Blake.
He is dedicating this year’s light show to a 9-year-old boy named George who suffers from a chronic kidney disease called end-stage renal disease.
“The one thing that has really carried him through all of his treatments has been reading the Harry Potter series; it brings him to a magical world where anything can happen,” says Make-A-Wish’s community relations manager, Kellie Ryan.
The goal is to raise $5,000 to send the Westhampton boy to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.
The kick-off light ceremony at 523 Amsterdam Avenue was on Saturday, Nov. 25, and it raised around $500.
The show will be running until January 10, with the lights staying on later and later as Christmas approaches.
Blake will also be giving away cookies and hot chocolate on Sundays to promote the experience.
“I do it for the love of it and for the community to enjoy,” he said.
Blake says Santa may even make a visit.
The Blake family has a collection box outside of their home.
Top: The Blake family standing outside of their home at 523 Amsterdam Avenue in East Patchogue. (credit: Nicholas Esposito)