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It must be Christmas!

RINGING IN CHRISTMAS: Pat Kennedy will be lighting up his West Ballina home from December 1.
RINGING IN CHRISTMAS: Pat Kennedy will be lighting up his West Ballina home from December 1.

IT just wouldn't be Christmas in Ballina without the Kennedys and Motbeys lighting up their homes.

Pat Kennedy has been lighting up his 3 Riverview Ave home at West Ballina for so long that he now isn't sure if it's been for 18 or 19 years.

But he has been lighting up his home long enough now that adults who visited as children are now turning up with their own children in what has become a Christmas tradition for many.

Pat has never been worried about power bills - his award-winning light-up has always been about the kids.

But he has installed LED lighting throughout his display, as well as solar-powered ropes of light.

He has about 75,000 lights in his display, which will be turned on December 1, and switched off at the end of that month.

"It's been magic for me," the 75-year-old said of his display.

Around the corner in Oakland Ave, West Ballina, Rob and Maree Motbey use their light-up to collect money for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter and the Ballina State Emergency Service unit - a cut-out of the helicopter will adorn the roof of their home when the lights are turned on December 1.

They started decorating their home at Christmas for their grandchildren, but then decided to make it a fundraiser for the two rescue organisations.

Rob is a former tow-truck drive and Maree is a volunteer at the helicopter op shops.

They have raised $18,000 for the helicopter in 11 years and $7000 for the SES unit.

Currently, the SES is fundraising to build a new shed at its Ballina headquarters.

The Motbey family will be lighting up until December 28.

They use LED lighting and solar power, but consider any cost to themselves to be like a donation to both causes.



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