Shining example of Christmas spirit


For the past nine years, a Frankston couple have been shining a little light into the lives of children with special needs. And now they’re back for 2017 – bigger and better than ever!
It all started 15 years ago, when Trevor and Sandra put up four Christmas motifs and a few strands of lights on their house at 1 Lulworth Place.  As the display grew, so did the number of people coming to check it out.

While they don’t charge admission, Trevor and Sandra decided nine years ago to put out a donation tin to help the Frankston Special Developmental School – a decision Trevor says was inspired by a visit a couple of years earlier by the late Rudi Geppert, the school’s PE teacher and “a lovely man”. 

“He asked if we’d mind if he brought a couple of busloads of the children around, and we were absolutely over the moon to have them here.”

Trevor and Sandra have since raised more than $30,000 for projects the school would otherwise be unable to fund.  In 2012 the school put on its own Olympics, inviting the couple along as the Olympic King and Queen; in 2016, FSDS principal Scott Tucker gave Trevor and Sandra front-row seats to the school’s concert.  “It is just absolutely mindblowing what those teachers and support staff do for those kids,” Trevor says.  “It was really hard to sit there and not get a tear in your eye.”

But it’s not just the school children whose lives are enriched by the display.  Sandra recalls a woman who visited the display just after she had been retrenched.  “She was in tears and she explained her situation and was thankful for us cheering her up and lifting her spirits.  She told us: ‘I’m so glad that there are still good people in the world that are kind and looking out for others’.”

Mr Tucker describes Trevor and Sandra as “heroes of the Frankston community. They do not ask for anything in return.  They’re stars”.  The couple thank the Commonwealth Bank in Karingal, which does not charge them to process the donations, and Big W Karingal, which sells them lollipops at cost price to hand out to children who visit their display.

The display will be turned on at 8.30pm on December 1; early on it’s switched off at 10.30pm, but as it gets closer to Christmas - especially weekends – it stays on until 11pm or later, depending on the number of visitors.  “We do this not for ourselves,” says Trevor.  “This is for the community and more importantly for the kids – that’s what this is all about.”

This house truly is a sight to behold – and Sandra says it’s grown even bigger this year - so make sure you visit before it all comes down on Boxing Day and support a wonderful couple doing their bit to make children’s lives a whole lot brighter.