Light shed on sibling rivalry
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.
Clayton Reimers’ AubinGrove home lit up. Lisa Cloutman’s lights at her Alkimos home.