EAST PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Many homes are shining bright for the holidays, and for one homeowner on Long Island, the lights are part of a special mission.
He put on an elaborate display, hoping to make a child’s Christmas wish come true.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, it’s stunning to the eye and warming to the heart. But for the man behind the lights, that isn’t the reason he did it.
“Because in my heart I felt that it was necessary to try and make someone else happy,” James Blake said.
The 60-year-old Santa of sorts from East Patchogue told Rapoport he did it to make a young boy’s fondest Christmas wish come true – a boy he had never met.
“No, I have no idea who he is,” said Blake.
That boy was 9-year-old George, a kid from West Hampton with a life-threatening chronic kidney disease.
Through the Suffolk County Make-A-Wish foundation, Blake learned that George’s special wish is to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando with his family. The trip would cost $7,000.
When Blake heard that, he knew he had to make it happen.
Last October, his beloved sister Ann passed away. He said Make-A-Wish was something that was near and dear to her heart.
“So I took the torch from her to continue on,” he said.
So Blake put up 20,000 lights in his front yard, with elaborate decorations everywhere you look – everything from ice skaters to Elmo.
The ultimate Christmas winter wonderland will be on display through December, and Blake is hoping to raise enough in donations from the people who come to see it to send George on his dream trip.
What was it about George’s story that spoke to Blake?
“He needs help,” he said. “I felt it was necessary to, you know, make him happy.”
CBS2 was there when George visited the holiday display and met Blake for the first time Thursday night.
“I love it, it’s just awesome,” George told Rapoport. “It is everything I hoped to see.”
“I’m ecstatic, I really am,” said Blake. “I hugged him. It’s a wonderful thing. I love it.”