Holiday display raises donations for Sandy victims

CHERRY HILL, NJ - November 23, 2012

Each year, the Croge and Italiano families begin setting up their Christmas displays on the 800 block of Mercer Street, the day after Halloween.

The lights all get turned on the day after Thanksgiving.

"It's something that my father started and our neighbor Dave when he moved in, it's just a fun thing between them. My dad will put up a bunch of lights, Dave would put up a bunch more. My dad would go out, get more and it just escalated," said Erika Italiano.

Neighbor Dave Croge, who also plays Santa Claus for the kids, gets a kick out of doing this.

"We started out with just a little and every year it gets bigger and bigger and bigger," said Croge.

The tongue in cheek war between the two families began 18 years ago.

However this year, the Italiano family decided they were going to do something for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

"This box here is for food donations. The box in the middle is for used coats. And we are also accepting with permission of the American Red Cross, financial donations. All profits benefit the American Red Cross for the victims of the hurricane," said Italiano.

The displays include all kinds of holiday characters, figurines and of course, music.

"We've all this set up every night from now until New Years Day. And we'll be taking donations to try and help out people in the area," said Italiano.

Both families say the displays will be on normally until 10:00 daily, depending upon the number of people that come by.

However, the lights will be on all night Christmas Eve into Christmas.

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