Christmas light show helps local family during a difficult time

Local News

DUNLAP, Ill. — It’s the giving season, and the Gawelek family in Dunlap is using their Christmas lights to give to others.

“It’s all the good things of Christmas,” said Amanda Gawelek.

With thousands of lights and hours spent setting it up, the annual Gawelek Christmas light show has raised money for families going through difficult times since 2017.

This year, money raised is helping the King family.

With a big red mailbox out front, people who come to watch the show are encouraged to donate to help Nick and Amanda King, and their three children who range from six to one-year-old.

“The last year has kinda just been a real whirlwind,” said Amanda King.

Since April, Nick has been battling cancer. He’s had six rounds of chemotherapy, and countless tests, scans, and surgeries.

The cost adds up.

“They run thousands of dollars each time, and I mean, hospital visits aren’t cheap either,” said King.

So this year Mike and Amanda Gawelek decided to raise money for Nick’s treatment and bills.

“When we heard their recent struggles, obviously, it was a no brainer,” said Amanda Gawelek.

This is the third year that the light show has helped a family in the area.

“We definitely know that giving back is by far the biggest thing to the whole thing. As well as the support of our whole community,” said Gawelek.

That giving spirit means everything to the King’s.

“It is so amazing and we are so thankful and grateful for everything that everybody has done for us, we definitely couldn’t have gotten through this year without everybody,” said King.

And they’re hopeful for what’s to come in the New Year too.

On Tuesday, Nick will begin a clinical trial in Chicago and says they’re looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

That drug for the clinical trial costs 370,000 dollars.

The Christmas light show runs until December 31 and donations can be put in the red mailbox in front of their house. The show is weeknights 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Donations can also be made online at the Nick’s Fearless Journey GoFundMe page.

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