FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - The Gaddy family of Fayette County has improved the security of their donation box for the March of Dimes. The storyline in Fayette County has changed since 2013 from a thief that almost ruined Christmas two years ago, to the overwhelming generosity of the community, which showed its love for the Gaddy’s and their free light display that is back for another year.
For 27 years, the Gaddy family has decorated their Fayette County farm and invited the public to celebrate Christmas with them.
In 2013, the Gaddy family made news for another reason: a thief stole donations they had been collecting for the March od Dimes in memory of their grandson Brady, who died after a premature birth.
“First of all, I can’t believe I survived 27 years,” Gwen Gaddy said. “But it’s really funny to see the children your children went to school with bring their children. It’s pretty rewarding.”
Thousands of people in the south metro Atlanta area who’ve made the Gaddy light display their holiday tradition for years responded in a big way, giving from the heart to help this family whose hearts were broken over the loss of little Brady and the donations in his honor.
The Gaddy’s in two years, with the support of the community, have raised more than $24,000 for the March of Dimes.
“It came back in such a good way. Good things come from tragedy,” Gwen said.
Mike has put up a more secure box to keep the precious donations safe.
“I don’t think we are going to have that problem again,” Mike said.
Mike Gaddy admits that after the donations were stolen a few years ago, he almost closed the whole thing down for good. But, he knew what a loss that would have been for the community and for his family personally. For one thing, they would never have known how the community would respond when it was the Gaddy’s who needed Christmas cheer.