Neighbor Carries On Holiday Tradition Of Lights For Good


The Christmas lights on Tangerine Way went dark when Dave Severns passed away recently, but a neighbor is carrying on Severns’ tradition of using a dazzling light show to help hungry peopleSeverns-Pease Christmas Display in the Silicon Valley.

According to today’s San Jose Mercury News, neighbor Anthony Bernal, of 716 Peach Avenue, Sunnyvale, is sponsoring his own light show, “Lights on Peach Avenue”, in memory of Severns. He’s hosting a special event tomorrow night, Sunday, Dec. 11, to collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Severns’ favorite charity. Collection bins will be available for the drop off of non-perishable food. There will also be treats for visitors.

Bernal told the Mercury that his show features 18,000 lights, which is about 70,000 less than Severns had as of last year, but it sounds like Bernal is just getting started. Even Severns told Good Neighbor Stories last year that he started small more than 15 years ago and worked his way up.

If you can’t make it to the Peach Avenue show tomorrow night, you can donate to Second Harvest through our own virtual food drive for the charity through Dec. 31.

Dave Severns Passes Away; He Fought Hunger, Lit Up Community at Christmas


Good Neighbor Stories is sad to report that Dave Severns, the man who raised thousands of dollars to combat hunger in this community through a dazzling Christmas lights display, has died after a long battle with cancer. The family announced there will be no more Christmas light shows at their Sunnyvale home.Severns-Pease-Christmas-Display-Dave-Severns-Sunnyvale

Last year Dave’s spectacular display of lights and music raised $84,000 in food and money for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Over the years Dave had collected so much food and raised so much money, he reached the distinction of collecting a million pounds worth of food for the food bank, something usually only achieved by large companies running food drives.

Each year thousands of people drove by his and the home of his next-door neighbors, the Pease family, to see the coordinated show between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Rather than sell tickets, Dave wanted to help the community, so he put out barrels to collect canned food, and encouraged folks to donate to the food bank.

Read the story about Dave, and then consider donating in his memory to the food bank.

See the Good Neighbor Stories video of the Severns-Pease Christmas Display from 2010, the last year it ran.


Dave Severns and the Severns-Pease Christmas Light Display is featured in the  Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook! Start every day feeling good about the world!

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Update: Christmas Lights Display Smashes Fundraising Record!


Wow! The Severns-Pease Christmas Display obliterated its previous fundraising record, taking in more than $84,000 between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in donations for a local food bank. Last year the display raised nearly $55,000. Dave Severns is of course well pleased that they were able to break the $80,000 goal he set for the season.

I wrote about the display back in early December . Severns and his neighbor Andy Pease have been putting up the joint display since 1995, with each year getting a little more elaborate than the next. When Severns computerized the display in 2002, hundreds of people started flocking to see the magical show of lights and music. Some people suggested they charge a fee, but they decided instead to collect money and food for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

As Severns’ own chart shows, the donations have increased every year. With this year’s smashing fundraising success, it puts the display up with large corporations who have collected a million pounds or more worth of food for the food bank.

It will be interesting to see what goal Severns sets for next year. In the meantime, congratulations to neighbors who made a big difference to the local community!