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Seymour man makes display of 100,000 lights outside his home to raise money for the Salvation Army

Posted at 10:21 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 23:43:55-05

SEYMOUR, Wis. (NBC 26) — Todd Ellefson says the Salvation Army was lacking donations during its annual Christmas fundraiser.

So he developed a plan.

"I came up with this idea doing a light show," he said. "And I did it years before, but really not for anybody. I just did it because I love Christmas."

This year, Ellefson's display features 100,000 lights around his Seymour home.

And on Friday, he dressed as Santa and rang bells in an effort to raise money for the Salvation Army Outagamie County Extension.

"They help people with clothing, food, all kinds of stuff," he said. "And it's our local chapter in Black Creek."

When nearly 70-mph winds swept through Seymour on Wednesday night, Ellefson had to take down almost every single decoration.

"It took me 20 days to put it up the first time," he said.

Ellefson's yard sparkles every night during the holidays, and it's accompanied by a roadside Salvation Army kettle.

"With Covid and everything, everybody just likes somewhere to be able to go out and do something where it's safe," he said.

And some locals joined the Seymour native on Friday night.

"To help the community and to have fun while doing it," Lela Hilgenberg said.

Braving 20-degree weather to fill his yard with holiday cheer, Ellefson hopes his light show can produce dollars and smiles.

"It makes me feel good to do it," he said.

Ellefson's display is made up of recycled and repaired electronics. He says he will take any unwanted decorations.