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Christmas At The Western Mall

December 25, 2012, 9:57 PM by Stephanie Gregory

Christmas At The Western Mall

Christmas at the Western Mall is a tradition for some in KELOLAND.

Year by year it's a big light show during the holidays and it's raised over $150,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.     

Many have known it as Crooks Christmas before it moved locations to the Western Mall on 41st Street in Sioux Falls.

Joe Noe, the mastermind behind the event says he started the Christmas tradition at his home back in 2006. Noe says the reason he started the light show was just old fashion competition.

"A co-worker sent me a video of a light display like this and started teasing me about how I've been outdone. The whole thing started after I went out of my way just so I can get the guy back," Noe said.

After a few very successful years in Crooks, Noe and his family decided to move it to the Western Mall in 2009.

After the light show became popular across KELOLAND and the rest of the country, Noe says him and his wife wanted to start asking for donations. That's when he decided to raise funds for Make-A-Wish. He says him and his wife wanted to grant Christmas wishes to kids who have life threatening medical conditions.

"I think that granting these wishes really allows them to forget about all that stuff for a period of time and just be a kid," Noe said.

And only seven years later, Christmas at the Western Mall has raised over $160,000 for Make-A-Wish. That number constantly grows day-by-day.

"It makes a guy feel good that I can put up a light show, people come out and it's not me it's all these people that are out here dropping the money in the bucket, that makes it happen," Noe said.

Between trips to Walt Disney World, cruises, Hawaii, bedroom makeovers and more, Paul Krueger with Make-A-Wish says Christmas at the Western Mall has helped grant these wishes.

"Not only does it bring lots of people out to enjoy a wonderful Christmas light display but generous people who donate to help make wishes come true," Krueger said.

To donate to this wonderful cause, all you need to do is find one of these medal bins, thrown in your cash and you've donated to Make-A-Wish.

After a record year in 2012, Krueger says Make-A-Wish granted 74 wished to South Dakota kids.

"We hear from families that say the wish is something that changed their life. The wish was something they will never forget, it has impacted them for years to come," Kruger said.

Make-A-Wish says currently 60 South Dakota kids are in the process of receiving wishes. And a lot of the funds to grant these wishes are coming from Christmas at the Western Mall.

"For the cause at hand, that's why I do it," Brian Schumacher with Christmas at the Western Mall said.

Schumacher helps with the light display. He gives KELOLAND a hint of what to expect next year.

"You always want to make it bigger and better, I think Santa is a good for telling of what may come next year," Schumacher said.

And this KELOLAND Christmas tradition will hopefully continues on for years to come.

If you haven't visited Christmas at the Western Mall you still have time.  It runs daily from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm and lasts until New Years Day.

Click here for more information on Christmas at the Western Mall or the Make-a-Wish foundation.

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