Update: The lights are back!
Holiday house goes from hoax to hot spot for donations to UMD Center for Celiac Research.
Check them out now!The controllable Christmas lights are back for another season.
Watch the display
A popular Christmas light display has helped one father raise $50,000 in donations to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, according to a news article on the center’s website.
Alek Komarnitsky of Boulder, CO, strings thousands of Christmas lights on his house each year, and in 2004, it gained national attention. A webcam let people turn the lights on and off from their computers, and the interactive site went viral.
But, as Komarnitsky revealed after the holiday season, it was all fake. The website had been rigged to give the illusion that people were actually changing the lights, when it really was a collection of still images.
In 2005, the homeowner made amends and engineered a truly interactive display. A father of two sons with celiac disease, Komarnitsky encouraged satisfied viewers to donate to the Center for Celiac Research. Donations prompted by the display passed the $50,000 mark this year.
Last month, UMD Center for Celiac Research announced that it had received a record $45 million donationfrom a grateful patient.
If you are interested in contributing to celiac disease research and awareness, please consider a donation to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Every dollar counts!
Fun ways to fundraise for NFCA: