The holiday spirit will return this year to Christmas on Cleveland Street in more ways than one.
The Maris family’s annual holiday-light extravaganza opens on Thursday, Dec. 1, in support of a local family facing hardship.
This year, visitors to the display at 1200 Cleveland St. in Wilmette can Be The Light for Clay Scherb, a local teenager who suffered a spinal injury in an accident in August and is receiving treatment at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
Meg Maris said her son Johnny was Scherb’s colleague and was there when the accident occurred.
“My son said that this accident couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid. It broke my son’s heart,” she said. “It happened to a young kid who has an uphill battle. We want to do anything we can to help out during this time. As long as we have everyone coming to our house anyway, let’s do some good for this family.”
Christmas on Cleveland is one of the most visited light displays in the North Shore and features a spectacle of more tens of thousands of lights — Maris estimates close to 100,000 — dancing in sync with holiday tunes played over your car radio.
The fundraiser runs from Dec. 1-Jan. 1 and operates from 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Guests are asked to park clear of driveways, limit music volume and generally be respectful of the home’s neighbors.
During show hours, a donation box will be open near the display and volunteers will often be present passing out more information. Checks can be made to the Clay Scherb 2022 Gift Trust.
The Scherb family was also the benefactor of a November fundraiser, Let’s Play For Clay, in which New Trier hockey players played an exhibition game against the AbilityLab Blackhawks sled-hockey team.
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