This Boisean puts on a famous holiday lights show. This is what happened when he got sick

For years, people from all over the Treasure Valley have visited Roger and Sally DeBolt’s home during the holidays to catch a glimpse of their annual Christmas light display.

In 2017, Idaho News 6 featured the DeBolts’ light display, and it caught the attention of ABC’s Great Christmas Light Fight.

This year is probably the last year for the show, because of Roger DeBolt’s health. He has a rare form of lymphoma and had a bone marrow transplant in 2019, requiring chemotherapy maintenance treatment.

Roger and Sally DeBolt, shown in 2020, host a massive yearly Christmas light display – 60,000 nodes, he says – synced to music, which they use to solicit donations for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Roger and Sally DeBolt, shown in 2020, host a massive yearly Christmas light display – 60,000 nodes, he says – synced to music, which they use to solicit donations for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“I had an infusion of an immunotherapy of chemo on Jan 5th. On January 12 of this year I came down with COVID,” DeBolt said.

He spent 63 days in the hospital. “In March, I was intubated. The doctors, the nurses, my family — no one thought I was going to make it,” he said.

While he was recovering, Sally DeBolt joined a few virtual meetings with a group of Christmas light enthusiasts from all over the country, just as she and Roger have done in years past. She let the group know about her husband’s condition. Several members donated to a GoFundMe account to help them with bills.

In April, while recovering in his hospital bed, Roger DeBolt decided to join one of the weekly virtual meetings. He was asked if he was going to do his Christmas light show this year.

“I’m wheelchair-bound right now. I have no idea what my physical capabilities are going to be,” DeBolt told them.

That’s when Ron Howard from California said: “Who wants to go to Boise to help Roger put up his Christmas lights?”

The Christmas light display at the DeBolt house on Parapet Court in Boise runs in a half-hour show from 5:30 to 10 p.m., or 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, until Jan. 2.
The Christmas light display at the DeBolt house on Parapet Court in Boise runs in a half-hour show from 5:30 to 10 p.m., or 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, until Jan. 2.

Several people volunteered. Meanwhile, Roger DeBolt recovered and was back on his feet. He didn’t expect the group to show up. But in November a group of 10 people showed up ready to help put up the lights.

Ron Howard and Steve Ripaldi from California, Eric Schulz from Texas, Peter Senarighi from Minnesota, and Lorne Counter and Kevin Thomas from Washington state all used their own time and money to travel to Boise. Fred Mccarn, Chris Schmierer, and Anthony Milward from the Treasure Valley also volunteered.

The show began Nov. 24 and is scheduled to run through Saturday, Jan. 7, at the DeBolts’ home at 6211 W. Parapet Court, which joins North Pierce Park Lane north of State Street in Northwest Boise. The DeBolts accept donations there for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Idaho Statesman Business and Local News Editor David Staats contributed.