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Neighborhood shines with spirit

Pat and Bill Bozarth must have taken to heart the idea that when you buy a home, you buy the neighborhood surrounding it, as well.

Which is why, for 17 years, they have continued the Sherlyn Avenue tradition of creating a holiday light display that draws hundreds from the area to both soak in, and spread, cheer.

“It was already going strong when we moved in,” Pat Bozarth said, explaining that the friendly competition amongst neighbors was not hard to get wrapped up in. “We get a real kick out of it.”

The street’s display, already impressive, grows even larger every year, she said, as the neighbors head out for the post-Christmas deals on lights and other decorations.

“The day after Christmas, everyone says, ‘Come see what I got,’” she said, estimating that all but two of the approximately 25 homes on the street participate each year.

Although the Bozarths did not start the tradition, Pat said her husband, Bill, did decide several years ago to organize the previously more informal collection of food and money for South Kitsap Helpline.

“We made signs telling people what was going on, where previously people just had to ask,” she said.

On a typical day, Bozarth said, her family collects from $50 to $70 in monetary donations and “two or three sacks of food.”

“(On Wednesday night), we only got one can of food,” she said, explaining that, luckily, that small of a collection is rare.

All donations collected on the street are delivered to the food bank, she said.

Sherlyn Avenue is located just off of Sedgwick Road, a few blocks east of the Fred Meyer store at the corner of Bethel and Sedgwick.

The street will be lighted every night from now until Christmas Day, beginning at 6 p.m., and until 9 p.m.

Donations of non-perishable food items and financial contributions are gratefully accepted at the event.

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