"Elves" Create Winter Wonderland for Soldier's Family

By Gilma Avalos
|  Thursday, Nov 7, 2013  |  Updated 9:50 AM PDT
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Some two dozen “elves” from Florida Power & Light created a special surprise for a Coral Springs family before a soldier’s departure for Afghanistan. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports.

Some two dozen “elves” from Florida Power & Light created a special surprise for a Coral Springs family before a soldier’s departure for Afghanistan. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports.

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Some two dozen “elves” from Florida Power & Light created a special surprise for a Coral Springs family before a soldier’s departure for Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Pfc. Seth Marks will be deploying to Afghanistan Thursday and wanted to make sure his wife and three kids would have a holiday season they wouldn’t forget.

Volunteers from FPL made sure of that, as they created a winter wonderland at the family’s home, which they decorated with white and colored lights, snowmen, icicles and more holiday cheer.

"We know the kids are a little bit sad Dad's leaving for a year, so to be able surprise them before he goes is precious,” FPL spokesperson Heather Kirkendall said of the display – created just in time for Veterans Day.

With minutes to spare, the FPL elves put the finishing touches on the front lawn. The display includes 2000 energy-efficient LED lights.

When Danielle Marks pulled up to the house with their three kids, she was moved to tears.

“I thought the power was out when I pulled up. This is amazing. I was blown away. This is absolutely, absolutely amazing,” she said later, crying.

She is a U.S. Air Force veteran. Her husband, who is a combat engineer, is deploying for his first tour of active duty in Afghanistan and is expected to be away for 400 days.

A surprise was also in store for Seth Marks, Kirkendall said.

"We're giving him a tablet, so he can communicate and Skype with them while he's gone,” she said.

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