TUSCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) – You might come across some elaborate holiday light displays this time of year. But in Tuscola, there’s one house that stands out from the rest. Its 3,000 lights are synchronized to music you can hear from your car, but that’s not the only reason it’s so special.
If you drive past the “Lights on Prairieview,” creator Derek Holmes wants you to think about two families and consider helping them out this holiday season.
Colton Rahn is an Illini fan, a middle schooler, and he’s fighting cancer.
“I think it’s 40 chemo treatments and 28 radiation treatments that he’s having to go through,” Holmes said.
Holmes heard Rahn’s story and found a creative way to help out.
“We’re raising money for them by raising awareness here at our light show,” Holmes said.
“Lights on Prairieview” is a 20-minute holiday show you can experience from your car – with 3,000 synchronized lights. Holmes is asking anyone who enjoys his work to donate to Rahn’s family, and 13-year-old Dilynn Wilson.
“On and off through life, she struggled,” Dilynn’s father, Josh Wilson, said.
Dilynn Wilson has cerebral palsy and recently underwent a life-changing surgery.
“She’ll be able to walk just like you and I once she’s done with therapy,” Josh Wilson said.
But traveling and medical bills aren’t cheap. So, as expenses piled up for the Wilson and Rahn families, their Tuscola neighbors pitched in.
“We’re just very, extremely blessed to live in such a giving community,” Josh Wilson said.
Josh Wilson said all the support from the past few months has lightened the financial burden tremendously. And now, Holmes’ festive fundraiser is already halfway to its goal.
“It was quite the honor, it was a pretty neat light display,” Josh Wilson said.
Holmes plans to expand his light collection every year, and continue sharing it for a good cause.
“It was worth every penny so far, just seeing the kids dance and the outreach and support for Colton and Dilynn,” Holmes said.
And in the spirit of giving, Josh Wilson has one request.
“When you see someone with special needs, just make it a point to go say hi,” he said. “Special needs people are some of the most amazing people that you’ll ever meet.”
Holmes said he’ll probably increase his online fundraiser goal after this one is met. He’ll split the money evenly between both families. If you’d like to pitch in, you can visit “Lights on Prairieview” on Facebook, or the fundraiser page.
You can find these lights on Prairieview Avenue in Tuscola between Ponder Drive and North Prairie Street. The shows start every evening between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and they run until about 9-9:30 p.m. When you get there, tune your car radio to 97.1 FM and enjoy the music.