Local veteran known for Christmas displays receives gift from community

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An elderly Albuquerque man known for going above and beyond with his Christmas lights for the community, got an unexpected Christmas gift of his own from his neighbors. They call him ‘Mr. Christmas.’ “He’s a legend. Everyone knows who he is,” said neighbor Nate Bywater.

Davis Plourde has been putting on an impressive light display in the Ventana Ranch neighborhood for nearly 20 years. He does it simply for the community. But, bringing the holiday cheer doesn’t come as easily as it once did for the 83-year-old veteran.

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“I was going to quit two years ago because of my health,” he said. “I can’t climb like I used to.” That’s when neighbors like Bywater stepped in.

“I said, ‘well, then myself and the neighbors will take over and we’re going to decorate for you,” said Bywater. For the last few years, the neighbors have put up the display for Plourde. They soon learned the toll twenty years of Christmas cheer on a home can take.

“We had noticed over the last two years of decorating that the roof was in quite disrepair,” said Bywater. “So we started the GoFundMe and the GoFundMe itself – it spoke for itself and kind of blew up overnight.”

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In just a couple of days, it grew into a surprise Plourde couldn’t believe. KRQE was there when Bywater surprised him with the good news.

“You never take help, you never take the donations, you never take the donations, so we thought what can we do to say thank you for two decades of providing smiles to our children, our families, the community,” said Bywater to Plourde. “We started a little bit of a campaign for the community to say thank you to you. As of this morning, there’s over $6,000 for you. We’re going to sign over that account over to you today and it’s growing quickly.”

Plourde broke into tears. And, the surprises continued after a local roofing company heard what was going on.

“On behalf of NM Premier Roofing, we’re going to warranty your roof. We’d like to handle all of the existing damage that you have and any future damage that you have,” said Scott, a representative from the roofing company. “You do a lot for the community, this is a way to give back and we want to be able to help you out, and have one less thing for you to worry about.”

“Oh my God, thank you ever so much,” said Plourde. “I just can’t thank you enough. I can’t.”

With the roofing covered, the money can now help Davis and his wife with electric and medical bills. “It means so much…this is going to be a special day I’ll never ever forget,” said Plourde.

The light display at Plourde’s house is about two-thirds done and will be ready the day after Thanksgiving. The Mr. Christmas GoFundMe is still open for donations.

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