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Volunteers Gather to Help Man Keep Christmas Tradition Going After Tragedy Strikes

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It’s been a rough year for Marcus, of Des Moines, Iowa. Dale and Julie, grandparents, contracted COVID-19 in September.

Julie recovered, but Dale struggled. He suffered two strokes and a heart attack, and now needs oxygen and has trouble walking.

“He had strokes on the left and right side of his brain … he was only able to walk on the right side for three days,” Jolie said. Fox News.

As time goes on, the deal grows stronger – but as Christmas slowly approaches, it looks like the couple will have to give up their most cherished and revered Christmas traditions.

The Beaverdale neighborhood where they live is known for decorating every year and has done so for decades. “Driving in this area is like driving in a storybook,” Jolly said.

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“There is bumper to bumper. [cars] On big nights… waiting to be here,” he continued. “They went on buses and charity just to see the lights.”

Last year, the couple used their decorating efforts to raise $7,500 and more than 1,500 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Iowa, according to CNN.

But Dale’s condition means this guy isn’t pretty.

“Dale decorates and does all the lighting – I do the little things, he does the big things – and I know there’s no way I’m going to be able to do it,” explains Julie. “He started talking about it and I’m sure it’s impossible.”

“I decided it wasn’t likely to happen because there was no way I was going to keep those lights on by myself,” he added to Fox News. “But, you know, it’s a tradition and people trust it.”

Local Bob Coffey grew up admiring the lights on the famous street, and when he heard about the Marcus puzzle, he realized he could do something about it. Coffey, owner of Bob the Builder LLC, offered to manage the workforce with Dale directing.


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Five people, 10,000 lights and three hours later, the grandparents are back to business. And the result is something to see.

“It lights up the whole neighborhood,” Coffey said. “It’s just a house.”

“When we were done, I just told her to enjoy it and take care of herself. And she cried. I’m crying… it’s so beautiful.”

The couple is thrilled to have bacon in their yard for the holidays, not least because it means they’ll be able to hold a food bank drive again this year.

“We’re not, we believe, we are,” said Julie. “So if we can love other people and raise money and food for the food bank, that’s what we’re going to do every year until we can’t.”

She also posted photos of the lights and Dell outside on the porch, with the caption, “Food Bank Drive Lights 2021! Dell Sit back and watch the lights on!”

Dale expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in the…

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