Get into the Holiday Spirit With Severns-Pease Light Display Video


The most popular post on Good Neighbor Stories is from two years ago about Dave Severns and his Severns-Pease Christmas Display in Sunnyvale. During the 2010 holiday season alone, Dave raised $84,000 for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, $4,000 over Dave’s goal for the year, and nearly $30,000 over the previous year.

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Dave passed away in October 2011 from cancer, and the family opted to not continue the popular—and labor intensive—display of 88,000 lights. His legacy lives on, however; a group of friends launched a golf tournament in his name this year, to benefit Second Harvest. Last year this website launched a virtual food drive in his memory, raising nearly $1,400. We’re repeating the drive again this year; I hope you’ll consider donating to help end hunger in Silicon Valley.

The display is also featured in the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook, with photos provided by the Severns family, and a story about Dave.

Did you ever see the Severns-Pease Christmas Display in person? Share your memories with us in comments!

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.

Good Neighbor Stories Virtual Holiday Food Drive – Help Us End Hunger


Holiday Food DriveGood Neighbor Stories is proud to announce our first virtual holiday food drive! Help us this holiday season raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Our goal is to raise $1,000 between now and Dec. 31. We’re sponsoring the food drive in memory of Dave Severns, who created the Severns-Pease Christmas Light Display in Sunnyvale. Last holiday season Dave raised more than $84,000 for Second Harvest.

The food bank’s officials expect one in 10 residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties will turn to the agency for food this holiday season. The economy has driven up the numbers of our Silicon Valley neighbors going hungry; 80 percent of the agencies that distribute food from Second Harvest report an increased need over past years. Help us ensure that families experiencing hunger get access to food this winter by donating through our food drive.

It’s easy to participate. Go to, click on “Friends and Family Drive” on the “Donor Type” drop down menu, and then click on “Good Neighbor Stories” on the “Organization Name” drop down menu. [Read more…]

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!

Order Your Copy Today!


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!

Update: “Magical Christmas Light Display” On Track to Raise $80,000 to Feed Hungry


Earlier this month I told you about the Severns-Pease Christmas Display, the 88,000-lights and music show that is simultaneously raising money to feed hungry people in the community and entertaining all who come to see it. Last year the neighbors behind the fundraising and food drive collected $54,000 between Thanksgiving weekend and New Year’s.

Severns-Pease-Christmas-Display-Dave-Severns-SunnyvaleDave Severns just announced that thus far they have collected $52,000 worth of food and money, as of December 15! Only half way through the season, and they are just shy of last year’s amount! Just $28,000 to go before they reach this year’s goal of $80,000, with about two and a half weeks to do get there. All the money and food goes to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and haven’t seen the display yet, now is the time to visit. And bring a can of food to donate, some quarters for the snow machine, or a check.

You can follow their fundraising progress here, or by joining the display’s Facebook page.