EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ(CBSNewYork) — Holiday lights are fun and festive, but one light display is helping to change lives.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, one East Brunswick home isn’t your typical holiday light display. It’s also a fundraiser for a young man paralyzed in a devastating hockey accident last year.
“It shows what kind of people they are and what kind of community we live in and how much support I’ve got,” Mikey Nichols said.
Nichols never dreamed he’d see his name in lights, but for the last month a holiday set up put together by Bill Kloos and his brother Ryan has been all for him.
It’s an effort to raise money for the 18-year-old’s recovery from a paralyzing spinal cord injury suffered last January.
A check of nearly $14,000 was presented to Nichols and his family on Friday night.
“These people are, they’re so nice and gracious to me,” he said.
“It’s tremendous. We have expenses that we’ve never had before and we never planned for,” Mikey’s mother Christine said.
The Kloos brothers started the display a decade ago and for the last 5 years they’ve collected donations for different charities. Last year they raised $3,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. This year they far surpassed that, even with the theft of their donation box in early December.
“The community really came together and started to donate a lot and a lot of businesses came forward and offered to replace the money and give more in some cases,” Bill said.
Nichols plans to pay it forward by donating part of the check to the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation, a charity to help other paralysis victims.
The lights will only be up through Saturday, but the Kloos family said they are already planning ahead for next Christmas.
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