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One Apollo Beach family lights the way to Christmas

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image James and Dottie Debusk of Apollo Beach have been lighting up their home for the past three years. Photo Mitch Traphagen

While delighting the cars driving by, the Debusk family collects donations for the St. Anne's Church outreach program.

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN
 
Just as the Thanksgiving Day leftovers were being packed into refrigerators across South County, one family in Apollo Beach began lighting the way to Christmas.  And it involves some serious lighting — more than 100,000 lights in all; the set up for which begins after Halloween and takes five people three weeks to complete — and 12 people on the first weekend.

James and Dottie DeBusk decided to light up their home for a good cause following a health scare years ago.  As part of the display, they collect donations for the St. Anne’s Church outreach program in a lighted mailbox on one corner of the property. All proceeds collected go to St. Anne’s Church. Last year, they raised $1,000 — funds greatly needed.

The lights and Nativity scene are choreographed to 17 different songs, each of which takes up to 20 hours to program. Visitors to the home, located at 486 Florida Circle North, just off Flamingo in Apollo Beach, can even enjoy the Christmas music through their car’s radio by tuning to 99.9 FM. The lights begin by 5:30 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

The display is so bright and beautiful that it has even captured the attention of Santa Claus who, according to James DeBusk, will be on site for children from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on December 21 and 22.

DeBusk estimated that at least 100 cars drove by on Thanksgiving evening. Happy and healthy, he was out directing traffic, hopefully taking in the joy he is giving to so many.


Lighting up Christmas - Images by Mitch Traphagen

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