FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - A Fayette County family known for their huge Christmas light display and donation to holiday charity was hit by thieves. Now they are calling it a blessing of sorts, saying the free light display is drawing in more people than ever.
The magic behind the family Christmas light display has nothing to do with computers, not apps, no. The ‘what’ that provides the ‘wow’ is so simple, so old-fashioned, much like Christmas itself. It's big because, well, presents should be. The lights glow warmly here. And if it moves, it's likely powered by old car parts that Mike Gaddy has salvaged somewhere.
"He is old school, bare bones. He's not going to throw away anything that might be salvageable, as you can see," said Gwen Gaddy, Gaddy Family Christmas Extravaganza. "It's a great feeling to know that i can pretty much count on him to fix anything."
Mike and Gwen Gaddy start in August, and it will take until almost March to tear it down. On some nights, nearly a thousand cars will drive through their Fayette County farm. And as it has been for 28 years, it's free. But they do ask for a donation to Toys For Tots or March of Dimes. The Gaddys in the past three years have raised $36,000 for their grandson Brady, who died after a premature birth.
“Brady has been a big part of our lives, even though he's not here with us,” said Mike Gaddy.
“Yes, he's changed our lives forever,” said Gwen Gaddy.
The Gaddys made nationwide headlines when the thieves stole their March of Dimes donations from a bucket. There is more security now, but actually the theft turned into a blessing really.
“I think that puts such an awareness for the people around here of what we were trying to do. They have just... They did [respond] in such a big way, such a big way," said Gwen Gaddy.
Find out more about the display by going to Facebook.com/gaddylights.