Turcotte family donation to the Stittsville Food Bank was definitely bigger and brighter

Again this year, people travelled from far and wide to take in the good humoured and merry movie-themed scenes of Christmas Vacation (Take 2). The hype all began in 2020 with the inaugural Griswold’s stomach-splitting ‘Christmas Vacation’ and a photo captured by Stittsville Central, shared to Facebook, of that beloved station wagon with the huge balsam fir – root ball and all – strapped on top travelling down Stittsville Main. Since then, Shawn, Chantelle, Hudson and Kennedy Turcotte have been delighting visitors with their comedic holiday displays every December.

The planning takes place once the decision is made by the family for the display’s theme. Chantelle and Shawn spend time during the year discovering those just-right props to bring their front yard display to life each year.

Each year, they also accept donations for causes that are important to the family. Namely, the mental health of youth with donations going to CHEO and helping families in the Stittsville area with donations of food and money accepted for the Stittsville Food Bank.

Shawn shared with Stittsville Central the family’s thoughts on this year’s display and fundraising effort. “We had another great year and are so happy with the response and money raised. We had 10’s of thousands of people come by and visit us from all over the world. We were busy right up to January 1st and I spent almost every night outside meeting and speaking with visitors.

Everyone loved the lights, station wagon and cousin Eddie’s RV, but many people also loved the little movie detail props we had as well. People came by dressed up in character, some had their family photos taken here and people who never saw the movie came by as well.

We had more media coverage this year than ever before including a national tv interview on CTV’s This Hour with Angie Seth…all of it helped us raise more money for the Food Bank.

I was asked over and over again “How many lights are on the house, how long did this take and where do you store everything?

People are so wonderful and generous and this is why we keep doing this. Some visitors dropped off presents, cards and all were so thankful for what we continue to do. My favourite conversation was with a little girl who told me my lights filled her eyes.

I think this year was my favourite display and we couldn’t be happier with raising over $32,000 for the Stittsville Food Bank…amazing considering if was a difficult year for many people and charity donations are down over 30%. We have now raised over $175,000 for both CHEO and the Stittsville Food bank over the last four Christmas’s…amazing considering we started with an old station wagon and a tree!”

It has been a difficult year for many families attempting to put food on their table. With that in mind, people visiting the Turcotte’s ‘Christmas Vacation’ display were extremely generous.

(Chantelle, Shawn and Hudson Turcotte dropped off their donation to the Stittsville Food Bank Chair, Theresa Qadri, and volunteers this past week. Photo: Stittsville Food Bank)

With the Stittsville Food Bank being the benefactor of this year’s donations, Theresa Qadri, Chair of the Stittsville Food Bank told us, “The Stittsville Food Bank is so happy to be part of the Turcotte family Christmas Vacation. The decorations in the yard were so Griswold! A huge thank you goes out to Shawn, Chantelle and family.

The success of the Turcotte fundraiser for the Stittsville Food Bank will help so many people.

This Christmas, the Stittsville Food Bank served four hundred and thirty families and over twenty-two thousand were helped with food by the Stittsville Food Bank in 2023.

The need to help feed people is increasing. We know we will be budgeting for food purchases of over four hundred thousand dollars again in 2024.

The donations are so crucial for the Stittsville Food Bank. Everything helps and we are so very grateful for the help from all donors.”

A true community builder, to the Turcotte family it is much more than the display, it is having fun, bringing the community together to lift spirits and being able to do some good by raising funds for causes close to their hearts.

For now we will all wait to see what we’ll find in the Turcotte front year for their 2024 display!


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