Bittersweet end for Winterhaven 'Festival of Lights'
Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Hundreds of Tucson residents turned out for the annual Winterhaven "Festival of Lights," but the donations gathered during this year's festival; one of the Community Food Bank's biggest food drives, weren't what organizers had hoped.
George Fahrman has worked with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona for 11 years.
"The food is going out a lot faster than it's coming in," Fahrman said.
He says in years past, Winterhaven cash donations averaged $1700 per night. This year, there were a few nights where less than $200 came in.
"Due to the economy, people are trying to recover themselves financially. So, donations are definitely down," Fahrman continued.
Saturday, on the last night of the neighborhood light show, residents tried to make up for the low donation totals.
Meantime, visitors drove through in a last-ditch effort to hold onto the holiday spirit.
"I think it's fun. It's the last night. A way to end it. A new year," Winterhaven visitor Tina Sickmon told 9OYS.
Just because the "Festival of Lights" is over doesn't mean the Food Bank donation period has ended. Organizers urge Southern Arizona residents to donate online, even after the lights go off.