#1StudentNWI: The Bozak Family Christmas lights celebrates family and a good cause

#1StudentNWI: The Bozak Family Christmas lights celebrates family and a good cause

The Bozak family of Burns Harbor sets up Christmas lights every year at their home. Their display is not just a few strands of lights like on most houses. Instead the Bozak Family puts on a grand display that uses computer controls and huge quantities of lights. 

Although it’s not Christmas time yet, that doesn’t stop the Bozak family from starting their programming and planning for what to add to this year’s display of lights. 

The Bozaks started their light display around 2012. It started out as a friendly rivalry with one of their neighbors, with each family adding lights to try to outdo the other. Even though that neighbor moved away two years ago, the Bozak’s loved the light displays so much that they decided to it up, continually improving their display. 

“Every year we add to the show,” said Andy Bozak. “We will be adding a few new elements and yet another computer controlled box to the show this year. And when you add another controller, it means even more lights!”

When asked what his favorite part of the display is Bozak said it is the arches that go over the sidewalk

“When it's dark, kids loving going through them as it feels like you are going through a moving tunnel. It's a really cool experience,” he added.

The whole family helps in some way. They begin putting up the Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving and the light show ends on the evening of New Year’s Day. 

Andy’s kids also assist with the assembly of the light display.

“My son Ayden (13 years old) is my little helper man.  He does everything with me, he wraps the trees, goes on the roof to put up lights, and even untangles the cords for me. Ava (11 year old) helps with the stuff on the ground. She helps me set up the blow-ups and helps me watch the two little ones when my wife isn’t home. Abriella (7 year old), picks our songs and does a lot of voiceover ads in our show. She is our “show manager” of sorts. Lastly, Adley (3 years old) does anything he can. He loves coming up on the ladders with us, and usually grabs things for me that I drop.“

Additionally, the family traditionally donates to The Caring Place.

“A few years ago The Caring Place came in front of the County Foundation Board. I was on the board at the time, and they asked for money from the hospital sale to help fund the building of their new shelter,” said Bozak.

“We were not setup as a foundation to help with that at the time, so we were unable to help. But after meeting with Mary Beth and the late Debbie Reynolds, I was convinced they were a phenomenal cause that I wanted to help in any way that I could,” Bozak said. “After thinking about it, and discussing it with my family we figured we could help by using our lights to help raise money for this wonderful organization. That's how it all started. We haven't looked back since.”

Andy Bozak has furthered his involvement with The Caring Place, in their young adult division, The Amanda Forum. He has since also spoken at an event called the Amanda Forum LEAD Mentor Training Day.

“I spoke to young adults about the importance of getting involved, and taking the initiative to fix it when you see a problem. It was a very rewarding experience and I was happy that my son was able to witness such an amazing event,” said Bozak.

This winter, you too can visit the Bozak Family Christmas Light Show. They are located at 259 Lake Park Road in Burns Harbor. It may not be Christmas time yet but the Bozak family is already getting ready for everyone to visit their light show!