Kamloops family has 21,000 lights to lift Christmas spirits | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Kamloops family has 21,000 lights to lift Christmas spirits

Cassie McNutt and her family run Cassie's Charity Drive every year to help Kamloops charities.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Don McNutt

A family in Kamloops is working to raise thousands of dollars for the local hospice association this holiday season, using an online auction and a light up event where 21,000 Christmas lights will be plugged in.

The McNutt family is running Cassie’s Charity Drive for the third year, and it appears the drive is exploding.

“We have a goal of raising $10K,” Don McNutt said. “My daughter Cassie chose the hospice to donate to this year because we have had friends and family who have received amazing care there.”

The online auction is running in partnership with the association and items were donated by almost 50 supporters, including the Canucks and the B.C. Lions, items worth a total of $16,000.

READ MORE: Kamloops Christmas house returning again despite decoration kerfuffle

As part of the campaign, the McNutt family will be plugging in 21,000 Christmas lights on their property in Dallas this evening, Dec. 1, and the community is welcome to stop by. McNutt said he has been putting posters up in businesses around town to spread the news.

“Santa will be arriving to help Cassie turn the lights on,” McNutt said. “He will hand out candy canes and collect donations for the drive. There will be a donation bin in front of the house for items the hospice needs. Our garage will be stuffed to the roof.”

McNutt said he started putting the lights up in October and just finished. He said the family uses the lights to give something back to the community.

“A lot people come by to see the lights,” he said. “This year has been so crazy with all the bad stuff going on, we want to help get people back into the spirit. This is a big thing for us, it is what makes our Christmas.”

Cassie’s Charity Drive began in 2019, when then 13-year-old Cassie McNutt prompted her family to hold a homeless winter clothing drive.

READ MORE: Kamloops family lights the way to goodwill

With the help from the community, the family filled three or four trucks for the shelters in 2019. Last year they filled four trucks, collected and handed out 52 turkeys and raised just over $2,000 for Christmas Amalgamated.

“We can’t get over the generosity of the people in this city,” McNutt said. “We are so grateful for our sponsors and donors.”

To register for the auction or find details on the light up event including acceptable donation items click here. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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