One Bozeman man’s mission to bring holiday cheer to his neighborhood is now bringing a helpful hand to the local fire department on New Year’s Day.
In just a couple of weeks’ time, Brodie Lesourd’s $40,000 display dubbed "Christmas Land" brought in thousands of visitors.
“When you would give them something, just the smiles that they’d have," says Brodie, who lives in the house on Shadow Glen Drive in Bozeman.
From 10,000 candy canes handed out by his son Micah the Elf, to 2,400 cups of hot cocoa, Lesourd’s stroll through “Christmas Land” brought in more than 17,000 people.
Even without his beard, Brodie says he still feels the holiday spirit.
“It was a really, really good expectation," Brodie says. "I was really impressed and everybody did a great job.”
“It was pretty fun," Micah says. "Like, you met some interesting people.”
At first, Brodie started collecting donations with an idea…
Fifty percent to pay for his electrical bills; the other half, to the Bozeman Fire Department’s Benevolent Fund.
After collecting a wad of more than $5,100, that idea changed.
“Everybody kind of put out their own money and they made this happen," Brodie says.
He donated all of it, along with $300 raised just by Micah.
“There’s a lot more people that don’t...that aren’t in the position I’m in and I’m able to do what I do," Brodie says.
“He just knew, hey, firefighters help people so I want to give to that," says firefighter Brian Carroll.
Carroll says the phone call from Brodie was a pleasant surprise with every cent going toward a fund dedicated to helping the rest of the community.
They even gave the Lesourds a tour of the department.
“I think it’s the epitome of the human spirit which is in all of us," Carroll says. "There’s something just integral inside of who we are as people that we want to help. We want to give back.”
As for Brodie’s display, it’s time to pack it in.
But he says “Christmas Land” will return.
“If you can make a difference in anything, then go ahead and do it because it is the most rewarding thing you can do," Brodie says.
Lesourd says he is planning on raising donations again next year -- this time, for the Bozeman Police Department.
And he plans on making the event even larger.