If You Ever Saw this House, You Would Even Say It Glows

Dec 22, 2018 443

BY: John Leland

As a font of indelible folk characters, Christmas beats all other holidays: Santa, Rudolph, Tiny Tim, the Grinch, David Sedaris, you name it. In the Charleston section of Staten Island, there is also a retired Pepsi foreman named Joseph DiMartino, who in 2002 — the year after his wife, Debra Ann, was killed in the World Trade Center attack — began decorating his home in her memory, and to raise money for the pediatric cancer unit at Staten Island University Hospital.

“After that horrific day, people were there for my family,” said Mr. DiMartino, 61, who was suddenly raising two young daughters on his own. “So this is my way of giving back.” He starts the day after Labor Day, with a goal to have everything in place for a soft opening on Thanksgiving. Mr. DiMartino declined to say how much he has spent on decorations, but allowed that “you could buy a house” with what he has invested so far. He expects charitable donations this year to be around $40,000.

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SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com

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