Colorado Springs, CO – Dec. 3, 2018
Sturgeon Electric is proud to be a sponsor for the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation’s Give Comfort & Joy, a community-wide fundraising effort this holiday season. On Monday, Sturgeon Electric surprised a young patient and his family by decorating his home just in time for Christmas.
Last April, eight-year-old Jalen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a blood cancer that affects the body’s white blood cells. He is currently in his seventh month of a three-year treatment regimen.
With a new home closing scheduled for January 2019, Jalen’s family had decided to downplay holiday lighting and decorations this year in preparation for the move. Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, Sturgeon Electric, and Blazer Electric Supply has graciously planned a surprise holiday lighting to brighten the family’s hopes this season. Blazer Electric Supply donated over 3,000 lights and the Sturgeon Electric crew working on the new Colorado Springs Children’s Hospital brought in bucket trucks and extension ladders to string Christmas lights while Jalen was away for the afternoon.
Jalen’s family, friends, and neighbors gathered around the home on Monday afternoon as Sturgeon Electric flipped the switch to the home’s bright decorations. The third-grader’s face lit up like the beautiful Christmas tree in his front yard.
Read more coverage about this story:
For Sturgeon Electric, this story sounds very familiar. The company’s founders are credited with having invented the outdoor Christmas light tradition:
Just before the Christmas of 1914, 10-year-old David Jonathan Sturgeon lay ill, confined in his bed on the second floor of the Sturgeon home in Denver, Colorado. The young boy was too sick to see and enjoy the family Christmas tree downstairs, but he could see some pine trees outside his bedroom window. David pleaded with his father, David Dwight “D.D.” Sturgeon to put lights on one of the pine trees outside so he could see it.
Determined to fulfill his son’s wish, D.D. Sturgeon, an electrician who had founded Sturgeon Electric Company, Inc. just two years earlier, dipped some ordinary light bulbs in red and green paint, strung them on electric lines and draped them over one of the trees outside. David lay in his bed, watching the lights sparkle like emeralds and rubies against the ermine mantle of snow.
Word of this outdoor wonder spread rapidly and drew people from miles away. According to news accounts of the time, people in horse-drawn carriages and chugging automobiles drove slowly past the home, marveling at the beautiful glistening tree.
Years later, young David passed away, but neighbors who had marveled at his tree joined together to light up their own yards, and the Tennyson Street neighborhood soon became the talk of the town. House by house, block after block the idea spread and through the years this has become a holiday tradition.
Thomas Edison displayed the first indoor electrically lit Christmas tree in 1882 at the home of his friend, Edward Johnson. For the next three decades, electrically lit trees remained indoors, and only for those willing to pay the price, about $300 in the early 1900s. Although it is impossible to document exactly when and where the first outdoor Christmas tree was lit with electric lights, proud Denverites believe it started with David and his father D.D. Sturgeon. In 1945, NBC broadcast a tribute to Denver and the Sturgeon family for having originated this beautiful tradition and the story has been covered by numerous media outlets ever since.