Holiday surprise for child

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Family decorates home early for child who needs surgery

MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s a winter wonderland brought to life right here in Central Illinois. Each year a family decorates their own home for the holidays, but this Christmas they’re lighting up the sky a bit early for one special visitor.

For 42 years the Schoonover family has decorated their home for Christmas. “There’s a 40 foot trains that go through here. There’s a ferris wheel. There’s a grandma got ran over by a reindeer,” said George Schoonover. They’re known in town as the Griswald family. “You can’t help but smile when you come down this street at the outrageousness of it all if nothing else,” said Dixie Schoonover. However, this year they’re hoping the 90,000 lights in their yard will catch the eye of 3 year old Addiana. “We’re putting it up a little early for a little girl who is having some brain surgery,” said George Schoonover. “It brought her so much joy we couldn’t help but say yes to it,” said Dixie Schoonover.

The Cornbelt Fire Chief found out Addiana was a big fan of the home, but this year the family wouldn’t be able to drive by to see it. “With the surgery being in early November, the family wasn’t going to have the opportunity do one of their traditions which is coming by here,” said John Koller, Fire Chief with the Cornbelt Fire Protection District. The Schoonovers with the help of family, community and firefighters decided to bring Christmas to Addiana a bit early. The full display will be ready next weekend just for her. “To see that little girl smile that night will be priceless,” said Dixie Schoonover. “I hope it picks up her spirit and shows we’re all behind her,” said George Schoonover

The Schoonover family says the home will be lit for one day this coming Saturday. There will be firefighter boots outside the home on that day to raise money for her recovery. The lights won’t come back on again until the first Sunday in December. The home is located on Timberview Drive in Mahomet.

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