The heartwarming story behind the Prince Christmas lights show

The family behind that Prince Christmas lights show is hoping it'll help raise money for an organization that helped them when they needed it.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

You've probably seen the video of that Prince-themed "Purple Rain" Christmas lights display.

It's part of the Staudt family's Lights on Pascolo display in Chaska (it used to be called the Little B K Bob Lights), and is used as an intermission between the 14-minute blowout show.

Here's the Prince portion:

What you might not know is the good the Staudt family is trying to do with the display, after a scary incident with their son's open-heart surgery last year.

"My son did have a few complications during surgery that kind of tripled or quadrupled his stay at Children’s [Hospital in Minneapolis]," Mike Staudt told GoMN. "And we weren’t very prepared for that."

The surgery and the stay

A heart murmur is what gave it away.

Doctors discovered the heart murmur in Caleb – Mike and Kelly's 6-year-old son – in December of 2015. Follow-ups led to a diagnosis of Atrial Septum Defect, and in March, open-heart surgery, the family's YouCaring page explains.

The procedure is about as routine as you can get for open-heart surgery, Mike Staudt said. But he had a form of brain stroke during the surgery that severely impacted control of his left arm. And afterward he suffered a partially collapsed lung.

This led to 11 days in the hospital for Caleb and the family.

"We weren’t prepared for the long stay, and I guess we didn’t really have our head around what this surgery kind of was going to entail to the degree that it did with the complications," Mike Staudt said.

Ronald McDonald House

Which is why the Ronald McDonald House one floor below was such a savior for them.

"Ronald McDonald House just took us in and gave us some comfort, and really helped us kind of in our time of need," Mike Staudt said.

It gave the family space when visitors came. Let them have a place to eat. Let them meet other families going through similar things, where they could support each other and exchange information.

"So I just was so impressed with the people I met there, the volunteers, the organization, and the other families there. It just really helped us out," Mike Staudt said.

Raising money to give back

Two years ago, the first time the Staudts did the Christmas lights things, it was a trial run. No computer programming (which they do now). They wanted to see what happened, and basically got one or two cars an hour coming to look.

But with Caleb's ordeal, they knew they wanted to do more.

"He loves Christmas lights, he loves any holiday and the decorations that are associated with it, he gets so excited," Mike Staudt said. "And he was kind of my motivation and our family’s motivation to go a little crazy this year."

In addition to the thousands of flashing lights and 14 minutes of coordinated music, the Staudts wanted to find a way to give back.

So they're trying to raise money for Ronald McDonald House – the goal is $500, and the Staudts will match up to that amount. But of course they'd be thrilled if donations go above that.

You can donate here, on the YouCaring page.

"The dollars are going to an absolutely great cause, and you’re helping families and you’re helping young children," Mike Staudt said. "And to me that’s what the holiday season is all about. It’s about the magic that you see in kids, and that kind of resonates with us and why we do the light show."

Caleb by the way – doing well. He's been able to regain most of the function in his arm, and all his follow-ups since then have been good, Mike Staudt said.

Where to see the show

The show is in Chaska, at 3850 Pascolo Bend.

Each light show is a little over 14 minutes long, and shows run every 20 minutes.

Sunday through Thursday it's from 5:40-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday it's from 5:40-9:40 p.m. There's a 6-minute intermission between each show.

"To get the full experience, try to arrive 3-5 minutes before the next show time," the show's Facebook page says. "The show was programmed with an opening, middle, and closing medley that is best viewed beginning to end."

Get more information here.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.55.05 PM

Small plane lands on northbound I-35W in Twin Cities

A large police presence is at the scene.

Plainview

Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.

Related

The heartwarming story behind the Prince Christmas lights show

The family behind that Prince Christmas lights show is hoping it'll help raise money for an organization that helped them when they needed it.

This MN nonprofit will recycle your old and broken holiday lights

Recycle your lights and help provide jobs for people with disabilities.

A clear look at the custom Paisley Park replica urn made for Prince

A clear look at the artful, custom-made urn for Prince.

A clear look at the custom Paisley Park replica urn made for Prince

A clear look at the artful, custom-made urn for Prince.

Stillwater teacher battling cancer gets a Christmas surprise

Group of family and friends show up to sing carols outside a Stillwater educator's window, who is battling cancer.

Prince has 6 heirs who will inherit what he left behind

13 months after his death, there are finally some answers on who will get Prince's estate.

Why donations poured into Minnesota's ACLU and Planned Parenthood this week

Both organizations said they think Donald Trump's victory was the reason for the surge.