Washington man raises funds for veterans by lighting up his house with more than 17,000 Christmas lights

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WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Mike Rodcay is hoping each one of those lights will equal one penny, money that will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project – a non-profit organization helping veterans and active duty service members.

“I came up with the idea last year that you know what, I’m a vet, how can I give back, what can I do to give back to my fellow service members,” said Rodcay.

He started putting his lights up in September, and after officially being lit on Friday, he said many community members have already started donating.

“What I’m hoping for is that it will inspire people, not so much to put 17,000 lights on their house, but to become involved,” said Rodcay.

He is hoping 17,000 pennies turn into $170 for an organization that has helped so many of his fellow servicemen and women. He said he’s not doing it for the recognition.

“For me, the satisfaction is when someone comes to see it, and they drive real slow, or they donate. That’s satisfaction enough, cause then I know it’s not just me that’s willing to support a cause,” said Rodcay.

This isn’t the only year he intends to display his lights. He plans to expand the display for years to come.

“This is gonna be an annual tradition, as long as I’m physically able to do this, I’ll be doing it every year,” said Rodcay.

You can donate every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Christmas, all you have to do is head to 511 James Parkway.

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