New York family's larger-than-life Christmas display will jingle bell rock your world
The Mures create an elaborate Christmas display at their Rockaway Beach home.
"GMA" visited Joe Mure and his family for a tour of the elaborate holiday display that lights up their neighborhood and the lives of "a special group of children" with juvenile diabetes.
"We have two reasons for lighting up the little North Pole," Mure said. "One [is] to actually put a smile on every single child's face and to give them a memory of Christmas we know will last the rest of their lives. And then, two, to help a special group of children that actually need our help and those are children that live each and every day of their lives with juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes."
Prep starts when Halloween ends
Items are shipped in from storage
They use tractor-trailers to bring in decorations
150 people helped unload this year's display
Decorations include Santa's workshop, train set, elves, 20-foot tall toy soldiers
Raises money for juvenile diabetes
Mure, a criminal defense attorney, first created his yuletide display 23 years ago after a trip to one of his clients in Florida caused him to miss Christmas with his young daughter.
"I was hanging my first string of lights with my daughter, we were going around for the first time in our new home and I had to leave and go out to Florida," Mure explained. "I missed Christmas with my daughter and decided never to miss Christmas again."
After Oct. 31, Mure, his fiance Jodi Tucci, her daughter Isabella and his son Michael join forces with friends in the area to begin all the preparations that go into creating the magical holiday scene.
"Opening day we probably have about 150 people out here helping us unload the tractor-trailers and start with the Christmas decorations," Mure said. "They all love it and they're helping us out, everyone's involved and they see a team effort among our family, friends and neighbors."
The scene is filled with an array of elaborate lawn ornaments -- from a ballroom dancing couple to a motorized carousel, ice rink with skaters and real-life Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Mure's stop at no expense.
Mure and his friends cover all the expenses and he also puts out a donation box to raise funds for juvenile diabetes.
He said "every penny" of the proceeds goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, of which he is a board member. Over the last 20 years, Mure said they have "slowly raised over $1 million" with his holiday scene.
The family's home will appear on the holiday reality show "The Great Christmas Light Fight" which visits and judges the top decorated homes across the country.
"America is going to just absolutely love it," Mure said. "It is so different than any Christmas display you see anywhere inside the United States or outside the U.S."
The grand reveal and opening fundraiser party will be on Saturday, Dec. 8.
"It's our opening party for JDRF -- there's food, entertainment and toys for all," he said of the ceremony at the Little North Pole.
But the most wonderful time of the year is when Jan. 1 hits and he can "take everything down."
"I can’t wait to take everything down and start planning for the following year," he said. "It’s just a lot of work to load up the trailers and get up there in the cold –- it’s a major job."
People can also make donations online to the Little North Pole fundraiser through the JDRF website.