Light shed on sib­ling ri­valry

Wanneroo Times - - News - Belinda Cipri­ano

WITH Christ­mas just around the cor­ner, peo­ple are dress­ing up their homes in an­tic­i­pa­tion for the big day.

Two of those do­ing their bit for the Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion (PCHF) and tak­ing sib­ling ri­valry to the next level are Clay­ton Reimers and his sis­ter Lisa Clout­man.

The duo have been rais­ing money for the chil­dren’s char­ity col­lec­tively for the past seven years.

Clay­ton, who has been dec­o­rat­ing his home in Au­bin Grove for eight years and has raised more than $15,000 over the past five years, said he be­gan putting this year’s dis­play up on Oc­to­ber 1 and was hop­ing to hit the $10,000 mark. He raised $8500 last year.

“I start with an in­door dis­play through Oc­to­ber and then out­side in the first week­end in Novem­ber and keep go­ing un­til I can’t do any more – I never get all the dec­o­ra­tions up,” he said.

“This year I am also do­ing a dis­play in the garage, as I have run out of room ev­ery­where else.”

With thou­sands of in­di­vid­ual lights and hun­dreds of props and or­na­ments, in­clud­ing snow and bub­ble machines, nut­crack­ers, danc­ing San­tas and blowup moulds, Clay­ton said he loved see­ing the faces of the peo­ple who vis­ited his home light up, as well as rais­ing money for a good cause.

“I have never had sick or un­well chil­dren but have had fam­ily mem­bers who have and if I can help in any small way, I am more than happy to do so,” he said.

“It’s great get­ting the com­mu­nity spirit to come alive and watch­ing the chil­dren and their friends play with­out a worry in the world.”

His lights this year will hon­our Anita Board, who died af­ter a crash at Perth Mo­tor­plex last year.

His sis­ter Lisa, who has been putting lights up at home in Alki­mos for four years and rais­ing money for the last two years, in­clud­ing al­most $7000 last year, is also hop­ing to get $10,000 – a tar­get she be­lieves is achiev­able.

She started dec­o­rat­ing her home a lit­tle ear­lier this year af­ter hav­ing two surg­eries.

“This year we are aim­ing for the stars; we would be ec­static to raise $10,000,” she said.

“Nor­mally it takes ei­ther one month of re­ally smash­ing it out with long hours or a cou­ple of months tak­ing things at a slower pace.

“How­ever, this year I have had two surg­eries due to a fall at work, which has meant that we needed to take things a lot slower, so we ac­tu­ally started dec­o­rat­ing in Septem­ber.

“Ac­cord­ing to my hus­band there would be more than one mil­lion lights.

“Our dis­plays go into our garage, our study and our bed­room, which we have va­cated to ac­com­mo­date our par­ti­tion­ing and hand­made, re­al­is­tic-look­ing fire­place.

“We also have a lot of other hand­made dis­plays which in­clude giant neon candy canes, a giant gin­ger­bread house and a life­size sleigh.”

The race is now on to see who will raise the most money for PCHF.

“Ob­vi­ously south, as I have beaten my sis­ter Lisa in ev­ery year that she has been fundrais­ing,” Clay­ton said.

Lisa said while the south may have an ad­van­tage in rais­ing money, the north had the bet­ter lights.

So who has the bet­ter lights and who can raise the most money?

That’s up to you.

Lisa Clout­man’s lights at her Alki­mos home. Clay­ton Reimers’ Au­bin Grove home lit up.

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