Kiwanian’s light display and fundraising event—held with the help of Key Clubbers—to be featured on U.S. national television.
By Steve Hadt
A Kiwanian’s annual holiday tradition is getting some extra attention this year. Joe Mure’s “The Little North Pole” is being filmed for ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” which premieres December 4 in the United States.
Camera crews followed Mure as he strung lights around his house and in the nearby trees. But “The Little North Pole” is more than a light show—it’s a street party and fundraiser. Mure estimates thousands of people show up the night he turns on the lights. He gives away toys and food. This year, the lights were turned on several weeks early for the television show.
Key Clubbers wearing Kiwanis Santa hats handed out food, and passersby kept watch for Santa. Dancers kicked and twirled on the stage, while singers waited in the wings, warming up their voices for the next performance. Kiwanians from clubs in Brooklyn and Queens helped wherever they could.
Mure has been doing this for 22 years to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He estimates that he’s collected more than US$2 million to help find a cure. He told Kiwanis magazine in 2012 that he started this tradition after he missed Christmas with his young daughter because of work obligations one year. He vowed to never let that happen again.
“We want to put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces,” he says. “That’s what we do.”
Mure is the president of the Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Kiwanis Club. He joined the organization in 2006 and has served the club in various ways throughout the years.
The exact date Mure will appear on the show hasn’t been released. In a news release, ABC reports “The Great Christmas Light Fight” will air back-to-back episodes for three consecutive weeks: Monday, December 4 (8–10 p.m. EST); Monday, December 11 (8–10 p.m. EST); and Monday, December 18 (8–10 p.m. EST).