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A source of joy: Locals find joy in sharing the holiday spirit with others

  • Santa came early to drop off gifts for Emily DeMarco, whose face expressed her joy at the new clothes, compliments of the Fowler Bonan Foundation's Clothes for Kids.

    Santa came early to drop off gifts for Emily DeMarco, whose face expressed her joy at the new clothes, compliments of the Fowler Bonan Foundation's Clothes for Kids.
    Holly Kee photo

  • The Yost Family, grandmother, Debbie, as a snowman, 8-year-old Ethan, the elf, and his dad Cody, have an incredible light display in rural Marion that attracts hundreds of visitors each week during the holiday season.

    The Yost Family, grandmother, Debbie, as a snowman, 8-year-old Ethan, the elf, and his dad Cody, have an incredible light display in rural Marion that attracts hundreds of visitors each week during the holiday season.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Alex Coulson checks on the connections to his Toy Story display, just one of at least 100 that fill his family's yard during the holiday season.

    Alex Coulson checks on the connections to his Toy Story display, just one of at least 100 that fill his family's yard during the holiday season.
    Holly Kee photo

  • The Yost Family light display, a 30-year tradition, has more than 100,000 lights.

    The Yost Family light display, a 30-year tradition, has more than 100,000 lights.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Alec Coulson's yard in Johnston City is a wonderland of Christmas with over 100 character displays and lights that twinkle to music.

    Alec Coulson's yard in Johnston City is a wonderland of Christmas with over 100 character displays and lights that twinkle to music.
    Holly Kee photo

 
BY HOLLY KEE
hkee@localsouthernnews.com
Posted on 12/24/2019, 11:09 AM

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- The holiday season is a time of giving and for several Williamson County residents, it's the part of the season that gives them the most joy.

Yost Family Lights

If you haven't made a trip southeast of Marion to visit the Yost Family Lights, it's a gift worth putting on your last-minute Christmas list.

Located at 7066 Cherry Valley Road in Marion, the display contains 119,000 lights.

According to Cody Yost, the third generation of the family to stage the annual holiday display, the family has staged the lights for about 30 years.

It began with Cody's grandparents, William and Betty Yost.

"When I was little, my grandma used to give my dad all kinds of grief about not decorating the outside of the house," said Cody with a grin.

He said the display began small but has grown each year.

Now, a fourth generation has joined with his son, 8-year-old Ethan joining Cody, his wife, Ashley, and Cody's parents, Debbie and Mike.

"All of it," said Ethan proudly, about his role in helping with the display.

"He even climbs on the roof with us," said Cody.

The family begins decorating during the last week of September in order to have the display ready by Thanksgiving.

Cody said it then takes about five days to take it all down and pack it away for next year.

Fowler Bonan Foundation Clothes for Kids

For the DeMarco kids, Christmas came early last week following a hot meal at Heaven's Kitchen Marion.

Emily and her brothers Anthony and Justin each had two huge bags stuffed with new clothes, compliments of the Fowler Bonan Foundation's Clothes for Kids program.

All three were excited to open their gifts and could not stop smiling.

Emily planned to wear one of her new outfits for her classroom Christmas party on Friday.

According to Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), he and several volunteers spent hours shopping last week to help outfit dozens of area children.

Alec Coulson -- From one kid to others

He's only 19, yet Alec Coulson of Johnston City finds a special joy in brightening the lives of others with his Christmas display.

"I've been doing this since I was 4," he said last week, as he walked around making sure all connections were secure in the display that packs the yard of his family's home on the east edge of Johnston City, just two blocks from the Arrowhead Lake campground.

A steady stream of cars drove slowly by last Friday, including one driven by Kaylee Wece of Pittsburg.

Wece pulled over and stopped so her two boys, Carsen, 5, and Kase, 3, could get a good luck at the display.

The boys were excitedly jabbering to one another, pointing out the various characters lit up, some flashing to the sounds of Christmas carols playing.

"We've been through at least four times just today," said Wece, as she leaned back watching the smiles of amazement on her boys' faces.

"That's why I do it," said Coulson, "putting all the smiles on the kids' faces. They love it. It doesn't get any better than that."