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Lighting Up St. Jude’s

Published 12/10/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 12/10/2013 10:51 AM

By Karena Garrity


He’s back! Joe Petrowski Jr. and his amazing light show, lighting the way to the holiday spirit with his giving nature and fantastical show of Christmas luminaries. It has become family tradition for many Guilford residents to pile the kids or grandkids into the car and take a trip over to 163 Valley Shores Drive to see the bright lights and radiant glow of Petrowski’s annual show. Each year the young do gooder donates all funds collected from the presentation to a charity of choice. In the past, some of those charities have included Guilford Food Bank, The Guilford Animal Shelter, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and more. This year Petrowski has once again chosen St. Jude’s to be the recipient of the funds he raises and once again an anonymous donor has donated a hefty check, in the amount of $10,000 to the Children’s Hospital in Petrowski’s name, to thank him for his enormous efforts and to show support for the cause.

“This is so exciting to me,” said Petrowski, only hours after he found out the wonderful news. “I never expected this would happen again, but I am so glad that it has.”

To date, Petrowski has raised $35,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hosital alone.

“We are so incredibly grateful to Joe and all that he does,” explained Tony Raucci, the President of the St. Jude’s Connecticut Fundraising Network.  “Joe is a wonderful, talented, creative guy and he does a great job of making the holiday season special and enjoyable for everyone.”

Last year Petrowski’s fans were left in the dark,as the then 22 year-old recent college graduate faced geographical restraints that prohibited him from making it home from Florida to create his yearly masterpiece.

“I missed it last year and I am very happy to be back in Boston and able to make it to Connecticut to put the show on for everyone,” said Petrowski. “The community is very supportive and everyone really seems to look forward to it and enjoy it. The monetary donations are great and I really appreciate them, but it’s the feelings and emotions that count, the desire everyone has to come and see what I have created that really is very special to me.”

This year, Petrowski has expanded the color palate of his work and he has woven a little blue into the traditional red, green and white show, which last about 20 minutes, through ten very carefully chosen holiday songs. Spectators are asked to tune their car radios into 107.3 and to sit back and enjoy the experience.

Planning for the elaborate display begins in August, Petrowski explained, with months of ideas and sketches, the execution of the final product begins the first week of November. This year the switch was flicked on November 30, at 5:30 p.m. sharp. From now until January 16th the show will go on Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.

“Honestly, it’s just something I have always loved to do. It’s fun, it makes other people happy, it raises money for some great causes and now its tradition” said a very proud Petrowski, who urges everyone to come see the lights before the season is over. “Who knows where I will be next year and if I will be able to get to Guilford to get the show ready to go, so if you want to make sure to catch a glimpse of the lights you better come this year.”

For more information go to, Joe’s Amazing Lights facebook page.  To find out more information on how to donate to St. Jude’s go to www.stjude.org.





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