San Jose family's Halloween display lights up neighborhood for a good cause

SAN JOSE, Calif (KGO) -- Are you ready for Halloween festivities yet? One South Bay family is and they're making the spectacle serve a good cause too.

Halloween is still several weeks away, but the Burfine family already has a massive Halloween display set up on their front yard on Emory Street in San Jose.

"This year has been not so fun. So we decided to do it early so that everybody could have something to smile about," Danielle Burfine said.

Burfine is the mastermind behind the project. The family says the plans have been in the works since July, and it took two weeks to build. She says they are already attracting more than 50 people every day.

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Mahesh Pasupuleti, who lives in the neighborhood, is one of them. He came out with his young son to witness the display.

"I think it's super important, to just get (the children) out and make them feel kind of normal in this new world," Pasupuleti said.

The yard features several mechanical displays with scary clowns, witches and pirates, and some friendly cartoon characters for the little ones.

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Five-year-old, Grace Palm, tried out each one. She was joined by her family and younger sister. When asked, which was her favorite, she replied with an emphatic, "All of them!"

Each stop is six-feet apart to allow for social distancing, and there is a step-pad for each display to make it a touch-free experience.

"The little ones come, and they just hit the step-pads over and over, and giggle! Their smiles make it all worth it!" Burfine said.

Burfine said the motivation for the display is, in part, to help her teenage son, Austin, with special needs.

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Asya Zaraysky lives in Cupertino. She was visiting a friend, who lives nearby. They decided to check things out. She says projects like this are great for the neighborhood, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Even though they have to keep their masks on and stay six feet apart, it still livens up the normal day," Zaraysky said.

The Burfine family is also collecting donations from those who visit, to help wounded veterans. Part of what they raise will be matched by SVCueSports, a local startup. To donate, click here.
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