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Light show back for the season in Amsterdam

December 8, 2012
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

AMSTERDAM-The nonprofit Kristy Pollak Christmas Event and Drive-Thru Holiday Park is back for its 14th season.

The event, being run by Dave Falso of Amsterdam, benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York, which handles roughly 100 children's wishes a year. Falso said the event began14 years ago as a way to raise money for Kristy Pollak, a girl diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Falso said the show grew as the years passed and lights were strung on more and more streets.

Article Photos

A roadway through the Kristy Pollak Christmas Event and Drive-Thru Holiday Park light display on Lyons Street in Amsterdam is shown Wednesday.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

It eventually outgrew its original location and moved to Lyon Street.

Falso said they began working with Make-A-Wish a few years ago. This year, the money goes straight to the organization, rather than to a specific child.

"It's heartbreaking to say 'no' to other kids," Falso said.

Timothy Riley, manager for the Northeast New York chapter of the organization, said the group used donations to send children to Disney World in Florida, among granting other wishes.

"Last year, we [granted] 10 kids' wishes from those two counties," Riley said, referring to Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Other wishes, according to Riley, include a redesign of a child's bedroom, a local shopping spree and a personalized camper. The average wish can cost somewhere around $10,000 dollars to grant.

"Make-A-Wish will never say no - no matter how many kids apply in their area," Falso said.

More than 170,000 mostly LED lights are in displays at the site, which is open for drive-through visitors each night through Jan. 1.

"You aren't going to miss it," Falso joked.

With 18 trees sporting LED lights and a Nativity scene, the show is a staple of the holiday season, he said.

"We're going as green as possible," Falso said of the LED choice.

The lights will run from 5 to 10 p.m. every night to Jan. 1. The show opened Nov. 23.

There is no charge for visitors, but donations are accepted for Make-A-Wish.



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