Winterhaven struggling to fund this year's Festival of Lights

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- It's that time of year again.  The Winterhaven Festival of Lights is just days away, but the community still needs some funding to make it happen.

In just a matter of days, the Winterhaven community will turn the lights on.

"I don't think it would be Christmas without Winterhaven and so it's something we really want to do and we love doing it," said Winterhaven Board of Directors President Patricia Brescia.

In Tucson, Christmas and Winterhaven go hand in hand.

Neighbors spent much of Sunday, putting up the lights.

"It is a lot of presure hard to get things done, but its coming together," Brescia said.

Everything but the money that is.  Despite huge donations from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Jim Click, Winterhaven is still $7,000 short with just eight days to go.

That's where you come in.

 "Ten dollars, twenty dollars, fifty dollars, whatever you can afford would just be wonderful," Brescia said.

The lights will turn on no matter what next Saturday.  But if that $7,000 can't be raised, neighbors will be faced with a tricky situation come January.

"We may make it.  I'm hopeful that that happens," Brescia said.

Brescia says the Festival of Lights is more important than ever because Food Bank shelves look empty, "They have absolutely nothing left.  We're hoping we can do better."

This year they want to surpass the nearly 43,000 pounds of food and $24,000 they donated last year.

"We're hopeful they'll beat that record and hep us through these tough times," said Jack Parris from the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

Neighbors are hopeful the public makes the 62nd Festival of Lights just as bright as any other.

Winterhaven's Festival of Lights kicks off Saturday. 

Click here to help Winterhaven raise money for the Community Food Bank.