Inspiring Boise Family’s Lights Display Leads to Huge Donation for Sick Idaho Kids
The inspiring family behind the donation has lived in their neighborhood since the early 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2006 that their Christmas lights display really started turning heads.
We’re talking about the DeBolt Christmas Light Show on Parapet Court. After becoming familiar with Marty Slack’s over-the-top animated home display in Murray, UT, Roger DeBolt felt inspired to take what was already a beautiful static lights display to the next level. It started with being able to control 128 different channels in 2006. The display just kept getting bigger and better every year. By 2019, it was impressive enough to grab the attention of ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight. The DeBolts competed against families from Oklahoma, California and Tennessee during their episode.
While they didn’t win, the DeBolts story touched the hearts of Christmas lights fanatics around the world. During the episode, Roger revealed that the family almost wasn’t able to compete on the show due to health reasons. About 18 months before filming Roger was diagnosed with a rare form of Stage 4 lymphoma. Shortly after, his wife, Sally found out that she had breast cancer. Working on the lights display as a family kept them positive as they battled their illnesses.
Sally beat breast cancer, but things for Roger have been more difficult. Last spring, Roger was hospitalized and ended up in the ICU on a ventilator. While he bounced back in ways his doctors couldn’t have predicted, it took a toll on his body. He decided to retire and close his business. He and Sally decided that if he was physically able to do it, the family would work together on one last over-the-top light show at their home.
He shared that news with a group of fellow lights fanatics from all over the country on a Zoom call while he was in the hospital. One of the leaders in the group told him that they’d make sure his light show was going to happen. He didn’t think the men in the group who volunteered to fly to Boise and help set it up were serious, but a few months later that group leader asked him when they were coming out to help.
Volunteers from California, Arizona, Boston, Texas, Minnesota and Washington joined the Boise-based volunteers that were already on board to help. In just a few days, they had the display ready to roll for one last big year.
We know you’re already tearing up over this incredible act of kindness but it gets even better. The DeBolts have used their light show as a way to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Idaho, which puts together some incredible experiences for Idaho kids fighting critical illnesses. In their final year, the DeBolts raised their biggest total to date - $6,400! They recently presented the check to the organization.
There’s so much good in our community! Thank you Roger, Sally, your kids and friends for reminding us of that. We’re sending you lots of love and prayers!