You may have already seen my Facebook posting or one of my Tweets on the subject, but one of my favorite champions of Celiac Disease Research, Alek Komarnitsky, has done it again. His famous light show is up and running for the holidays to delight and entertain as well as to raise money for the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research! (See also my friend Tiffany’s posting at Celiac-Disease.com)
From the comfort of your computer chair, you too can control his over 20,000 lights adorning his home in Colorado. You can inflate and deflate enormous creatures like Homer Simpson and the Frosty Family! I met Alek and his family this summer when I was in Colorado teaching a gluten-free cooking class. This family is tons of fun and they share my dedication to furthering the cause of celiac research, however they can. Alek came up with this idea of controllable Christmas lights a few years back and it has taken off — he’s raised $50,000 for celiac research already!
But don’t take my word for how truly cool this site is, read is Alek’s letter describing the scene and the cause, have a look for yourself, and if you’re so inclined, spare some change for celiac research as you enjoy the show! Alek even has a special message for those of you who click through from my blog!
PS- Alek also has a pretty cool blog if you are surfing during daylight hours! (Check out post #308 about my cooking class in Colorado this year!)
Yes, it is the holiday season, and back online for 2010 are the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease:
Once again, three live webcams and X10 technology allows web surfers to not only view the action, but also *control* 20,000+ lights. New this year is the Santa Plane, Santa Helicopter, and even Santa Skiing down my roof … which can all be inflated/deflated in addition to the giant 12′ Santa, 15′ Santa Balloon, Elmo, Frosty Family, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson – D’OH!
The website is totally free (and totally fun) and is one of my zany ways of raising awareness & soliciting donations for Celiac Disease- my two sons have this condition, so it’s personal for me. If folks are so inclined, you can make an optional donation directly to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. Over $50,000 has been raised with … holiday lights – pretty wild.
While people around the world (157 countries last year) enjoy seeing the lights ON, environmentalists will be happy to know that they can turn the lights OFF with a click of the mouse. Better yet, this is the 7th year I’m using Wind Power and even though that is “clean” energy, I even did a Carbon Offset contribution for the 0.6 Tons of CO2 for the ~MegaWatt-Hour of power consumed – that’s about the same as *one* cross-country airline trip. Finally, by providing viewing via webcam, you don’t need to burn fossil fuels by driving around to see Christmas lights … Al Gore would be proud!
But HEY, the couple of bucks a day in electrical costs are well worth the joy it brings to people (especially the kids) when they see the display in person and/or on the web. There’s even a Hi-Def option, so gather your family around the large screen and open up some Eggnog as the chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.
So surf on by, tell your friends, Blog/Facebook/Tweet/spread the word.
Merry Christmas and HO-HO-HO!