Holidays

Staten Island Santa's Light Show Is Raising Money for Kids With Cancer

Every year, one man turns his driveway into a winter wonderland full of lights to raise money for children battling cancer

NBC Universal, Inc.

For two decades the spirit of the holidays has shown bright from Joseph DiMartino's house on Staten Island.

The man nicknamed the "Santa Claus of Staten Island," turned his grief into a mission to help some of the most vulnerable. Every year, DiMartino dazzles crowds with his holiday light show, an over-the-top holiday tribute in honor of his late wife.

A week before Thanksgiving and already DiMartino is putting the finishing touches on his holiday display.

"If this gives anybody any type of hope, this is what my goal is," DiMartino said.

This year's operation comes complete with COVID safety measures to keep onlookers safe. The return of his annual holiday tradition also comes at a time when people could use a little cheering up.

His tradition of decorating his Staten Island home started after he lost his wife in the terror attacks of Sept. 11. Since then, he's used his home to spread cheer to his neighborhood and anyone who visits.

Collections from the holiday display are donated each year to children battling cancer at the hospital where DiMartino's late-wife's sister worked. Over the course of nearly 20 years, his collections have raised more than $300,000.

"It brings a lot of joy to me that the beacon of light in her memory is keeping her alive, and also keeping me alive, and helping sick children at the same time. I always say it's a win-win situation," DiMartino said.

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