PETIT DE GRAT: What started out as friendly competition has turned into a fundraiser for local organizations.
The second annual “Light Up Lundrigan Lane,” took place last Sunday night in Petit de Grat with proceeds going to the Pay It Forward Angel Fund.
One of the lane’s residents, Josette Marchand, said the idea started about a decade ago after neighbours and relatives in Lundrigan Lane started putting out more and more Christmas decorations each year.
“Every year, we started building a little bit on either side, more and more, and it turned out, after a couple of years, into a friendly competition,” Marchand explained.
Three years ago, Marchand said residents started noticing more and more vehicles travelling down the lane to look at the decorations, so they started talking about organizing a fundraiser.
Last year, residents decided to open the lane to visitors and ask for donations to the Hearts of Isle Madame. They ended up raising $1,400.
“We had a light-up night and we served hot chocolate, and cookies, and made it a little party,” she recalled.
This year, more residents put up decorations, and those who decorated last year, put up even more lights. Marchand estimated there are at least 10,000 lights in the cul-de-sac.
“This year we decided that we were going to build Who-ville,” Marchand noted. “Joel [Boudreau] cut all the wood, some volunteers and Adele [Boudreau] painted the characters.”
Acknowledging the amount of time, expense and planning that goes into the event, Marchand explained they start organizing each event at the beginning of the new year, then they start decorating in late September.
“We have no choice, we have to get everything up and running and make sure the lights are working, things have to be replaced,” she said.
On December 22, Marchand said this year’s beneficiary of the event, the Pay It Forward Angel Fund – serving Isle Madame and Louisdale residents who’ve had a life-changing illness – will host an event on the lane.
“It’s a little stressful getting it up and running but once it’s up and running, it’s so worth it to see people come down, they walk down with their kids,” she said. “It’s awesome to see their little kids going in strollers or in wagons, just amazed at the lights. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end to see people smiling.”