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Holiday displays benefit the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign

Sue Fritzen of Clay makes a Salvation Army Kettle donation Friday at the Hussak family light show in Liverpool.

Sue Fritzen of Clay makes a Salvation Army Kettle donation Friday at the Hussak family light show in Liverpool. Scott Schild

— Hussak followed suit, creating his own display a couple of years later.

“Steve is the one who got me into this madness,” he said. “I got the bug and since then, I keep growing each year.”

Between the two of them, the displays have about 40,000 lights. The reason they’ve grown so large over the years, Hussak said, is to develop an audience big enough to really make a difference in Central New York.

“The main goal with the shows is to get to have a large enough following to use them to give back to the community in some way,” he said. “We talked about it last year, but by the time we got our act together, it was too late to go out and team up with a nonprofit. This year, we came together and did it. It’s a great opportunity. There’s more to us doing these than just freezing our keisters off and trying to have the best looking house in the neighborhood. It’s the perfect opportunity to give back.”

Hussak and Scicchitano researched area charities this year before deciding on the Salvation Army, which they felt was perfect for their effort.

“They just seemed to fit,” Hussak said. “All of their donations stay local, and they help so many children and families, especially during the holidays.”

“We typically do a lot of tabletop kettles in local businesses. Sometimes we have them in retail establishments. They’re just small kettles where we don’t have bell ringers,” said Greg Meitus, head of public relations and marketing for the Salvation Army. “This is the first time we’ve had a kettle at someone’s house. And they’re doing pretty well. I went out to the site, and they’ve raised about $184 so far as of Dec. 5. It’s neat.”

Collectively, Hussak and Scicchitano hope to raise $2,000 by Jan. 1

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