ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Vandals hit a popular light display in northeast Albuquerque that has been raising money for Make-a-Wish for six years.
Known as Speake Family Christmas, it has raised more than $13,000 for Make-a-Wish and sent four children on their dream trips.
But over the weekend, vandals cut vital plugs, wiring and stole power boxes that run the display. The Speake family says there is no way to get the show back up and running.
Brandon Speake says thousands of people come to see their house and make donations as they walk or drive by.
One of the children who received a trip from Make-a-Wish through those donations is Suzanne Stomp, 7. She said she's very sad about the damage.
Her mom Stephanie says Suzanne has heart problems, and she didn't get to go anywhere for the first half of her life. Stomp says the trip to Disney World and Sea World was priceless.
Bob Biggins, president and CEO of Make-a-Wish in New Mexico, also is also very upset about the vandalism and the resulting loss of one or more trips for children because the Speake House isn't lit up.
"There's got to be a special place in hell for people who steal from children," Biggins said.
The Speakes say it's not likely they can get the display up and running. Money is not the problem, it's time.
Each wired and lighted pole takes about a month to build. The little trees take 3-4 hours to wrap and wire, and they have 36 of them.
The Speakes are asking anyone who would have normally donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation at their holiday display to donate directly to Make-a-Wish. For information on how to donate call 505-888-WISH or visit the Make-a-Wish New Mexico Chapter website.
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