Large Christmas light display in Fairfax continues tradition of giving back

KCRG-TV9's Kristin Rogers reports on an annual huge Christmas light display in Fairfax that is trying to give back to area food banks.
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 10:36 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Steve Tomash loves to see people drive by his Fairfax home.

”It would be bad if we put it up and nobody drove by. Once in a while we’ll have Santa here and that gets people to stop and get out of their cars,” Tomash said.

Year after year, he puts in the time to install his display which takes hundreds of extension cords and nearly two months to set up. It includes Whoville, the Grinch, and characters from Frozen.

”Most of the stuff that you see I have made it, painted it,” Tomash said.

His lights spread plenty of cheer, and this year a freewill donation box out front is collecting money that will reach even further.

”Most of it will go to Linn Community Food Bank because it’s strictly volunteer there and we like that. And we are going to give some to Matthew 25,” Tomash said.

It’s not the first time he has used his display to help others. In 2016, he and a neighbor collected donations for a local family who lost their father in a motorcycle crash. Then, in 2020 donations were collected for area food banks, and for the victims of a large Fairfax apartment fire.

”People donated almost $7,000 and at that time we were taking food also and almost 700 pounds of food,” Tomash said.

Last year another $2,000 was raised for food banks. And this year, donations will be collected until New Year’s Eve.

The Linn Community Food Bank says the need is great. They’ve doubled their output since April and saw 450 people at their Thanksgiving giveaway. That’s the most they’ve seen in 50 years of operating.

”People are really hurting and this is just one way that my wife and I and my family can help,” Tomash said.