Spectacular Whittier Christmas light show benefits Special Olympics

Coleen Sullivan Image
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
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The Kilgore's home on Citrustree Road in Whittier is collecting donations to help benefit the Special Olympics.

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- With a remote switch, thousands of Christmas lights coupled with holiday music fill a Whittier neighborhood for a great cause.

Matt and Jackie Kilgore's house Citrustree Road is a community attraction, not just because of its stunning and elaborate light display, but because through the attraction they are also taking donations to help the Special Olympics.

The inspiration behind the display is Tony Lareau, who lives next door to the winter wonderland.

Tony is a Special Olympian and his mother Ruth said she is proud of her community and the Special Olympics organization.

"When Tony was born, you are kind of just walking blindly through the world because you just don't know anything about special needs kids and then you find the way," Ruth Lareau said.

Tony competes in the Special Olympics and enjoys swimming, bowling and track.

Thanks to donations, the Special Olympians are able to participate for free.

"We're excited to be able to help the Special Olympics and we're excited about everybody who came out to support it," Jackie Kilgore said.

Matt Kilgore hand-built the spectacular light show and began the project just before Halloween and finished on Thanksgiving.

"I've always liked Christmas lights since I was a kid, and I have an engineering background and every year we go look at Christmas lights, and I always tell my wife 'I can do that' and it just became a project," Matt Kilgore said.

Neighbors can buy hot chocolate and treats with all the proceeds going to the Special Olympics.

"They're awesome people, but when someone just touches something that is special to your heart, I was talking with them the other night as we were sitting out here, I just started crying, I said 'thank you guys so much it really means a lot to us," Ruth Lareau said.

The light display will run through New Year's Day and hot chocolate and bake goods will be on sale during the weekends.