PARK RIDGE, Ill. - A Park Ridge family's annual holiday light show is spreading cheer as their entire neighborhood rallies around a local middle school boy who is battling cancer.
With thousands of lights and synchronized music, the dazzling display always attracts a big crowd. This year is extra special because the homeowners are raising money for a cause close to the hearts of the entire neighborhood.
"This year we put all our heart into this and we want everybody to donate to the St. Baldrick Foundation in honor of Benny Martinez," homeowner Tina Grusecki said.
Benicio Martinez is a classmate of Tina's son James and an ambassador for St. Baldrick's, which supports childhood cancer research.
"They had for St. Baldricks a fundraiser to shave your heads and Benicio was one of the boys who did that, and he actually was the top fundraiser for St. Baldrick's that year, and unfortunately a couple weeks later he was diagnosed himself with brain cancer," Grusecki said.
Martinez is currently in the hospital, but was thrilled to hear about his friends' plans to help his favorite charity.
"They can come up with cures so people who get it after him could be helped too," said James Grant, Tina's son.
"That is truly awesome, especially just the holiday spirit of giving back," said visitor Daviel Thomas.
The Gruseckis are accepting cash and check donations in a designated box outside their home. You can also donate through their Facebook page.
The family hopes to raise $50,000 for the St. Baldrick Foundation.