Residents ready to light up

Residents ready to light up

Young Hunter Sharp, pictured here outside his grandmother Kathy’s home, is doing his part to raise money for children going through the toughest of times. Photograph – Richard Polden.

The residents of Consulate Court in Thornlie are once again lighting their houses for Christmas and in turn helping raise vital funds for childhood cancer research.

Each December, nine of the 14 houses on Consulate Court sacrifice their power bills to spread Christmas cheer.

While the homes have been putting up lights for near-on 30 years, in the last 13 years the focus has been on fundraising for children’s health charities.

Over the years they have raised over $200,000 for charity, but don’t think this is an easy task.

Kathy Sharp has been a resident of the court for 22 years, and she said preparation usually begins much, much earlier than December.

“I’d say that in the last week of October we all come out of hibernation and start tidying the yards,” she said

“All through November we’re setting up and then when December 1 comes we hit the switch.

”It’s probably about a seven week effort because it takes us a week to get it all down after Christmas.”

Ms Sharp estimates that during the last week of Christmas, 3000 people visit the street per night, and roughly the same amount will be there this Saturday, with Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation volunteers on hand to take donations as 20 different costume characters take to the court, and Santa rolls in on the back of a fire truck.

“The Saturday night is our big night,” Ms Sharp said.

“The fire trucks come in and everyone gets dressed up, so we raise a lot of money on that night, we can barely see the asphalt.”

For the residents that light their homes up – starting at 7.30pm and switching off at 10pm sharp – it’s still a costly exercise, but Ms Sharp said it was a price worth paying.

“When we started, you know, it wasn’t that big and we used to say oh, don’t worry about it, it’s only fairy lights the power bill is fine.

“These days with all the displays, well my power bill triples, easily three times as much as normal.

“When you’re raising money for charity though, it’s well worth the expense.”