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Ardsley Student Climbs To New Heights To Decorate Family Home

Ardsley resident Sam Schunk studies arboriculture at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Ardsley resident Sam Schunk studies arboriculture at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Photo Credit: Kala Wilkins Photography
The Schunk family in Ardsley decorates their house each year.
The Schunk family in Ardsley decorates their house each year. Photo Credit: Schunk Family Facebook
Ardsley resident Sam Schunk climbs this tree each year in an effort to string holiday lights.
Ardsley resident Sam Schunk climbs this tree each year in an effort to string holiday lights. Photo Credit: Submitted
The Schunk family gets into the Christmas spirit with holiday lights.
The Schunk family gets into the Christmas spirit with holiday lights. Photo Credit: Schunk Family Facebook
Holiday decor in Ardsley.
Holiday decor in Ardsley. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Sam Schunk in the tree hanging lights with his dad.
Sam Schunk in the tree hanging lights with his dad. Photo Credit: Submitted

ARDSLEY, N.Y. --Sam Schunk is a tree guy.

A sophomore at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst majoring in arboriculture who spends summers working for The Care of Trees, the Ardsley resident thinks nothing of climbing 60 feet off the ground to hang Christmas lights.

Once lit, the tree can be seen from the highway, offering drivers colorful holiday cheer.

Schunk, 19, has been in charge of the family's holiday decorations since he was 14. "He always loved our holiday lights, which were mild by comparison to what we have now," said his mom, Rina. He even, years ago, bought a system that made the lights play to pre-planned music.

Now, the system he uses allows him to program the lights to go along with any song he chooses. The music plays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

As for what's new this year? Rina said passers-by can expect more tree lights, hung higher than ever before. There is also more spot lighting to give color and snow-like effects.

A few years ago, the big addition was Santa Claus on the roof. Sam and his dad built a fake chimney out of wood and painted it to look like bricks. They then attached a Santa figurine inside. "He attaches it to our roof, in front of the real chimney so Santa is there every night," said Rina.

The decorations stay in place until a few days after the New Year.

Head to 3 Shady Road in Ardsley to see it in person or check out the Schunk Family Christmas Lights Facebook page HERE .

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