The inspiration behind David Richards’ love of Christmas lights is a desire to raise money to support bereavement services for families who experienced the unexpected death of a baby or child, after he and his wife lost their son in 2002.
The Canberra barrister and and his wife Janean won a Guinness World Record in 2013 after decorating their family home with half a million twinkling lights, raising $200,000 for the charity SIDS and Kids ACT.
David has since expanded his massive collection and moved location, and together with an army of electricians and hundreds of volunteers, constructs a fairyland of more than a million lights in the heart of Canberra.
Upwards of 210,000 people pass through the tunnels of lights and marvel at the light display, now giving more than $300,000 each year – all in gold coin donations.
David’s Christmas cheer has created a spectacular much-anticipated annual event in Canberra which now supports a number of charities including SIDS and Kids.
This story was originally published on the Australian of the Year website.