Homeowner plans to pull plug on lights display after 50 years

2:15 PM, Dec 23, 2012   |    comments
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"All good things come to an end," said Dinges.

He lives near the corner of 1st Avenue and South Zenobia Street in the southwest Denver. Fifty years ago, Dinges started small.

"Years ago, it started out with one strand," said Dinges. "And, after the one strand, you know the next year, I went a little bigger and then all of a sudden, I went a little bigger and a little bigger."

His display is so big; it reaches 70 feet into the sky with an estimated 150,000 bulbs this year. Dinges says he had more bulbs in the past, but he is getting older.

"We start in September and then we just keep rolling," said Dinges.

He and his girlfriend, Lyla Bennett, work for three months on the lights. They say they do it for the joy of other people, especially children.

"When these little children come and get out of their cars, their eyes get as big as saucers," said Bennet.

They do it for the children who can come and the children who cannot come. For the past 15 years, Dinges dedicated his lights display to raise money for the Children's Hospital of Denver.

"I seen these little kids that are two and three years old and you see them with open heart surgery and you know that means a lot," said Dinges.

Dinges does not know how much money he has given the Children's Hospital over the years. He says he just turns the donation bucket over to the hospital. But, he does it has been a lot.

"One person came out here and gave us a check for $5, 000," said Dinges.

But, he says it is now time to end the tradition. He will take down the lights for good after January 1st.

"That's it, 50 years, I think is long enough for anybody," said Dinges.

He will still have a small display at his home. But, he says it is just getting too difficult for him to maintain a big display. His work over the years has been recognized by Mayor Michael Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper.

"It's not easy. It's not easy. It's not easy to quit," said Dinges.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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