TWO livewire young community leaders are turning on the Christmas lights again this year to help people living with Multiple Sclerosis.
Year 11 student and faith and community captain at St Mary MacKillop College, Ben Walker, and his former classmate James Crowther, now an apprentice greenkeeper at Royal Canberra Golf Club, are lighting up lives while lighting up their neighbourhood in Gowrie.
It’s been three years now since “CityNews” was first alerted by a neighbour to the fact that Ben was displaying one of the largest collection of Christmas lights in Canberra, then news arrived that his friend James had also joined him with a display comprised entirely of solar lights.
Both told “CityNews” how they’d been using their pocket money to collect lights at Boxing Day sales for years and had, along the way, become experts on the technical problems caused by stormy weather, possibly not a problem this year.
Ben said his grandma had been fighting MS for the past 14 years and that after embarking on a trial to raise money to help families like his, they’d contacted MS.org.au to seek advice on how to beef up their fundraising efforts.
Now, with support from the organisation, they have music, lollies, balloons, flags, information flyers and a donation-can labelled “MS” so that passers-by can chip in.
The Christmas lights will turn on at Ben’s house, 4 Stacy Street, Gowrie, and James’s in Ruthven Street, Gowrie, at 7pm on Sunday, December 1 and will continue at night until Christmas Day. Donations are welcome either in the can or via their facebook page, facebook.com/christmaslightsforms