The Martes front lawn.
While most Long Islanders consider July 4th to mark the middle of summer, Rich Marte goes into Halloween preparation mode.
He tinkers around his workshop, creating all that is necessary to transform his Wantagh home into a Halloween showcase.
"I really enjoy it," Marte said. "I like to see the kids come around. We really cater to the younger kids in that we're not out there to scare anyone. Sometimes we will do that later at night for the teens."
Each year Marte said he adds a little something special.
"This year it is a pirate ship on the front lawn," he explained.
While Marte said he has been doing this for the past 10 years, he along with family and friends, expanded on the idea last year. He used his Hollywood caliber creations to not only entertain onlookers, but also as a way of fundraising for Breast Cancer Awareness. Losing his father to cancer and several family friends being diagnosed with breast cancer sparked the fundraising idea.
His 842 Mayer Drive home is open for viewing beginning Saturday, Oct. 18 and runs through Halloween night. Costumed characters - Marte and family members - will be present to greet visitors, on Oct. 18, 25 and 31. There is a donation box for visitors.
"We ask for a minimum of $2, but some people give more," Marte said. "We even have a few talking skeletons that remind people about the donations."
Pink breast cancer awareness bracelets, and informational items from The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition will also be available.
Wantagh Fire Commissioner Craig Craft said he is helping the Martes with their vision and said "dedication, countless hours and professional detail" go into this event.