LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB)– For many, one holiday comes to mind when thinking of the month of October. But Tony Dittmer was already breaking out the jingle bells and Santa Clauses.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, I just enjoy it,” Dittmer said. “I enjoy how the kids enjoy it, the parents enjoy it.”
Dittmer lives on Stony Brook Drive in Lancaster, and every holiday season, he decks out his house with lights, lights, and more lights — inside and out. But for his neighborhood, this is a tradition hundreds of homeowners take a part in, helping raise awareness for charity every year.
“We always want to support children’s charities,” Dittmer said. “This year, we had the neighbors and the people in the neighborhood submit potential charities, and then they voted for which charity they wanted to support.”
This year, the neighborhood has elected to donate all proceeds to Eric Wood’s foundation, the Evan Wood Fund, which helps chronically ill children at Oishei Children’s Hospital.
“It’s just amazing for all of us to come together every year, year after year, and it’s all for charity, which makes it so much better,” said Lindsay Olewniczak, who has lived in the neighborhood for four years with her family. “We ourselves walk through the neighborhood a bunch of times, and if we see something that we like, we’ll talk to the neighbors, we’ll find out what they did.”
Hundreds of homes decorate their houses every year, drawing thousands of people in to come see the display. People can walk or drive around the neighborhood to take in the festive views and get into the holiday spirit.
The displays were lit up on Thanksgiving evening, and will continue to glow every evening until New Years Day. Neighbors want to encourage people who plan on attending to come during the week, as the weekends are busy. They also advised people traveling in via Walden Avenue to turn at the daycare — so they don’t miss the entrance — and then follow the arrows that have been added to help make the traffic flow more smoothly.
For more information on the lights, you can head to their website here. To donate to the Evan Wood Fund, click here.
Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.