Dec. 7 Block Party To Raise Money For Juvenile Diabetes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For nearly two decades, Joe Mure and his elves have built a Christmas lights display that has illuminated the Rockaways — except for last year, when the little North Pole on Neponsit Avenue and Beach 144th Street was put on ice following superstorm Sandy.

But as WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, weeks before even Thanksgiving, Mure and his helpers are hard at work putting the huge wreath, 30-foot toy soldiers, Santa’s sleigh, a carousel up and hundreds of thousands of lights up for the holiday season .

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“We didn’t decorate the house (in 2012),” Mure told Smith. “What we did do was put out 26 trees for the 26 victims of Sandy Hook.

Patty Ray Cashman, one of the volunteers, said the display is bigger and better than ever.

“This is like the rebuilding. It’s the healing, which everybody needs,” she said. “We need this.

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“When you think of Sandy, think of him (Mure),” she added. “Everybody’s wishes come true.”

Added neighbor Ronnie Murchinson: “To see the community coming together like this — just to make one big Christmas show for the whole community especially — is really nice.”

Mure plans to flip the switch Dec. 7, the same day the neighborhood will host a massive block party with as many as 5,000 people expected to attend. The party is a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Mure said he expects to raise $200,000.

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