PUYALLUP, Wash. — For the last 15 years, Puyallup resident Craig Dye has been lighting up the holidays with a display he says wasn’t inspired by Clark Griswold but rather Transiberian Orchestra’s music.
“I saw a video many years ago and it was so powerful with that music that I knew I had to create my own display and I still use that music,” Dye said.
Dye spent most of the day checking cable connections and the placement of his estimated 30,000 LED lights with more than 90,000 points of control.
The lights are synchronized to a custom soundtrack he broadcasts from a whopping three blocks away via shortwave FM radio.
“People drive up and tune in to 101.9 and hear our music with special messages,” Dye said.
This year's display comes with a heartfelt message and an encouragement to support a special cause.
Dye says he’s retiring after this holiday season and wanted to give back by supporting a local organization that has deeply affected his family. His grandson Jackson was born with heart complications and 22q-11 deletion syndrome, a condition that can cause nearly 200 health and developmental issues.
In his first week of life, he had open-heart surgery and spent his first month in the ICU. Caring for a child that was on feeding tubes and had countless complications was understandably overwhelming until Northwest Center entered the picture.
Northwest Center was established in 1965 by passionate parents who refused to institutionalize their children with developmental disabilities. Northwest Center provided Hospital-to-home therapy, early supports, and early learning for Jackson.
Kamille and Nathan are proud parents and say the resources and early supports from Northwest Center mean everything to their family and can’t imagine navigating the last several years alone.
Jackson turned 4 in November and has been with Northwest Centers Early Learning since he was 6 months old.
“The first thing my wife told me about Northwest Center Early Learning was their inclusion policy that every child, no matter what their situation, does every activity with every other child,” Nathan said. “Jackson is part of the family there.”
In fact, the family says it’s inclusion that’s responsible for their son’s extraordinary progress and that’s a big part of why the family is giving back.
Dye said his final radio broadcast will include a message encouraging donations to Northwest Center and the family is prepared to match donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000.
“We light it up for the first time this Saturday night so I hope people come by, enjoy the lights, celebrate the season and support Northwest Center!” Dye said.
To see and support the Dye Family Light show’s last year, set your radio to 101.9 FM and head to Crystal Ridge DR SE and Amber Blvd SE in Puyallup. All donations made will go directly to Northwest Center.