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With the help of local high schoolers, a Wadsworth family replicates the Griswold home for a special cause

Posted at 7:33 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 07:35:32-05

WADSWORTH, Ohio — For the last seven holiday seasons, Rachel and Greg Osterland have decorated their Wadsworth home to look just like a very famous one, the Griswold’s home from "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.

"Every time its on TV we always end up sitting down and watching it, and he’s like 'oh that’s a good idea let’s try that this year,” said Rachel.

This year the Osterland family is going on the road, well sort of.

Cousin Eddie’s RV will be part of the display and the Wadsworth High School Compact’s Automotive Technologies Program made it a reality.

"A lot of time, a lot of tape, a lot of paint,” said Shane Corp, a 12th-grader in the program.

Students worked to make the RV as close to the one in the movie for a little over a week and you’d swear it rolled right off the 1989 movie’s set.

"We painted it with some house latext paint and came up with a plan to make it look rustic,” said Pete Alexander the Wadsworth auto tech teacher."It’s ready to take for a drive right now, but I don’t know how far I’d take it.”

The Osterland’s are so ready to add it to their display and they already have a place for it.

"The display has gone beyond our yard and now it’s extended to the neighbors,” said Greg Osterland.

The light display isn’t just for show, the Osterland family uses it to raise money for a good cause.

The lights will turn on Black Friday, and visitors who come to check it out can give cash and checks toGreat Strides, an organization dedicated to ending Cystic Fibrosis.

Greg was diagnosed with the disease several years ago, and he uses the popularity of his home during the holiday season to raise awareness and money for an organization that’s helped him prolong his life.

"Every year we raise more and more just through the good hearts of those that come and see the lights. We have a little drop box so people can drop any donations they want,” he said.