Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gaddys still upbeat after donation bucket raided


By Danny Harrison

Danny Harrison

More than a quarter-century has passed since Sandy Creek Road residents Mike and Gwen Gaddy first decorated their rural property with an outdoor Christmas lights display deserving of a drive-through visit. Since then, more displays have been added each year, and the Gaddys’ light display is one of the most impressive in the Atlanta area.
Always keeping little children in mind, Gaddy says the two months of set up is always worth his effort. He loves the thought of the childrens’ faces as they tour the display, sometimes two and three times in a row.
A few years ago, the Gaddys began collecting money and toys for the Toys for Tots campaign, which has netted more than 2,000 toys for the last couple of years alone.
Last year, the Gaddys added a display memorializing their grandson Brady Wiles Jenkins, who was born early on June 12, 2012 and died just over two months later. His twin sister Taylor miraculously survived the birth and further complications.
This year, the Gaddys added another display, this one celebrating all four of their grandchildren, including Brady, who is depicted with a halo over his head as he is fishing with his sister and cousins.
Also this year, the Gaddys installed a donation bucket by the grandchild fishing scene to collect money for March of Dimes, which has become the family’s official charity of choice. Sadly, a Grinch of some sort helped themselves to the contents of the bucket on the first Saturday night in December, including at least $50 from a family member.
As people heard about the theft, outrage coupled with charity led many kind hearts to drop by the Gaddys’ display and more than replace the money stolen.
The light display will be open to the public, always free of charge, through the end of December. While the Toys for Tots campaign has concluded, the March of Dimes bucket, under tighter security, is still on display and ready for donations.
The display is located at 898 Sandy Creek Road, Fayetteville 30214.


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