The Festival of Lights, has chosen Y OPAS, the KIWANIS and ONE SMALL STEP as charity partners to support for 2019. Since 2000 FOL has partnered with local charities that assist us with our events, and are selected by a process held in January that is based on both the charity’s purpose and their contribution to the community.
Y OPAS – (Outreach Program for Ahwatukee Seniors), a program of the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, is a community effort offering free support services for the seniors of Ahwatukee and their caregivers. Services are provided by community volunteers, with the goal of assisting seniors in maintaining independent living in their homes.
KIWANIS – helps kids around the world. Local clubs look out for our communities and the international organization takes on large-scale challenges, such as fighting disease and poverty. We are generous with our time. We are creative with our ideas. We are passionate about making a difference. And we have fun along the way.
ONE SMALL STEP (dba CLOTHES CABIN) – helps children, families, and individuals living in poverty to attain a more productive life by providing quality clothes, shoes, and other services. Our vision is that no person or family within our service area lacks the clothing they need to secure employment, maintain a healthy and hygienic life, and be socially accepted.
The Festival of Lights (FoL) was founded in 1995 as an Ahwatukee community initiative after the developer of the Foothills, Del Webb, discontinued promotional festive-season lighting along the Chandler Blvd medians. Three women, residents of Ahwatukee, felt that the lights were a beautiful landmark and should be present each festive season. They established the FoL as a 501C3 charity to implement substantial community events to raise money to fund the annual lighting. This has been accomplished all of the years since 1995 utilizing what has become a very substantial network of volunteers. Activities are centered on two events: the Wine Tasting in spring and the “Kick Off Party” on Thanksgiving weekend commemorating the start of the holiday season and the illumination of the lights. These two events, along with contributions from two HOA’s (Foothills and Club West) provide funding for the lights as well as support to selected charities in Ahwatukee.
Given the large scale of the various annual events, the FoL stands as a remarkable example of community spirit. Through thick and thin, the organization has sustained and grown each year, frequently reinventing itself to maintain freshness and relevance. All of this is achieved by exploiting the energies and thousands of hours of residents working as volunteers.
Our signature annual events:
- Wine and Beer Tasting Festival in April at The Foothills Golf Club
- The Holiday Kick Off Party, our fiesta in Desert Foothills Park the Saturday after Thanksgiving
- The Million White Lights that famously illuminate Chandler Boulevard (from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway) for the festive season
Festival of Lights Association
4605 E. Chandler Blvd. #110-125
Phoenix, AZ 85048