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Cedar Park family raises money for CASA with annual holiday light show

A white banner and red donation box advertise donations for CASA of Williamson County, Texas.
Kailey Hunt
The Lone Star Light Show raises money for CASA of Williamson County, Texas. The organization is part of a national volunteer movement that supports court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children.

Every year between late October and Thanksgiving, the Mendoza family and a group of volunteers spend hours putting up hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights in the family's Cedar Park yard. Ramon Mendoza then programs each strand of lights to synchronize with music and create a special visual display.

“If I do something, I am all or nothing. I’m going big or going home. It’s a gift and a curse," said Mendoza, organizer of the Lone Star Light Show. "And this is the result."

Eight years ago, Mendoza created the show with the goal of raising money for CASA of Williamson County, Texas. The organization supports court-appointed volunteers who advocate on behalf of abused or neglected children and help them find safe, permanent homes. Mendoza is a volunteer and board member.

"We’ve heard so many stories about how CASA volunteers really helped save these kids essentially," he said. "I was able to witness it firsthand with the first kid I [worked with]. So it’s been something that’s been absolutely near and dear to my heart."

Mendoza said he began the project by placing a banner and small donation box in his front yard.

"We were able to raise a couple hundred dollars the first year. We were absolutely ecstatic," he said. "Fast forward to year eight ... we have some corporate sponsors and raised a ton of awareness. We've been able to raise a decent amount of funds every single year for the organization."

Mendoza said the show now raises $8,000 to $10,000 each year.

"It definitely makes a huge difference," said Monica McKitterick-Smith, president of CASA of Williamson County, Texas' board of directors. "Every dime counts, but especially when you get a big chunk like that ... especially when you aren't expecting it ... it makes a big difference."

The Lone Star Light Show at 905 Lone Star Drive in Cedar Park begins at 6 every night. The show plays till 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Kailey Hunt is KUT's Williamson County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @KaileyEHunt.