Man sets up lights for a cause

Northridge display raising money for pediatrics fund

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Adam Birks has a computer-controlled light display at his home in the Northridge subdivision of Kalispell. Birks is raising money for the Kalispell Regional Medical Center pediatrics fund.

Adam Birks’ display of 15,000 Christmas lights is impressive in its own right, but he has added a charitable twist to the light show to make it even better.

Birks has been stringing lights at his home at 139 Getty Drive in the Northridge subdivision for a few years, and the project has evolved into a technical wonder.

By connecting the lights to 80 channels via his computer, he has synchronized the lights to eight different holiday songs. Motorists driving by can tune their car radio to 97.9 to listen to Birks’ programmed music and see the lights blink in time with the tunes.

A longtime molecular diagnostics supervisor at Kalispell Regional Healthcare, Birks decided this year to set up a donation box in front of his home to raise money for a good cause.

“I contacted Tagen Vine with the [hospital] foundation and he suggested the foundation’s pediatric fund” as a fundraiser, Birks said.

“I’ve gotten a few bucks so far,” he said.

The sight-and-sound display begins nightly at 5 p.m. and continues through the evening until 10 p.m.

“The neighbors seem OK with it,” he said.

Birks, a 1992 Flathead High School graduate, said he started putting up Christmas lights because his two children, Kaelan, 6, and Karsen, 4, enjoy seeing the displays. Birks’ wife, Gena, is a teacher at Glacier High School.

“This is my best one yet,” he said of the display.

To find Birks’ house, take Northridge Drive off U.S. 93 North across from the Blue Cow Car Wash, proceed west to Parkridge Drive and turn left on Getty Drive. His address is 139 Getty Drive.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or by email at lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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