Hope: My Favorite Word

Hope: My Favorite Word

Hope: My Favorite Word

By Sharon Cecil, RN

My  Heart is Full of

 A Gift Of Empowerment

Founded in 1994 by my husband and I, We Survive, Inc. is  a 501(c)(3) non-profit community-based organization providing health and wellness education through innovative programs and events.  

Being cancer experiencers, we wanted to give hope to others.  In 1995, after Byron Crawford wrote an article on We Survive headquarters, it became known as a “Haven of Hope.”  With an emphasis on “Nurturance and Nature,” Day of Hope activities began.

As a Torchbearer for the 1996 Summer Olympics, the youth we had been working with wanted to do something for the community.  In 1997, LIGHTFEST originated at Churchill Downs bringing to life the theme from the 1996 Olympics the Power of the Dream offering inspiration and HOPE.

When  you express Hope innovatively,

you are giving courage for today 

and strength for tomorrow!


LIGHTFEST has been a youth driven event since its origination 25 years ago at Churchill Downs.

LIGHTFEST is a time to come together and bring awareness to the issues accompanied by a sense of hopelessness and helplessness.

In the world today, young and old alike can carry a seed of doubt that can make us vulnerable to a sense of Hopelessness and Despair which is permeating our existence, leading to all sorts of mental and medical consequences. With lives and jobs being lost, bleak outlooks are on the rise. It is important for us all to spread this message of hope.

We will continue to Celebrate the 25th LIGHTFEST Anniversary during 2023. During the remainder of 2022 and in 2023, I am asking that everyone around the world help We Survive by being part of the LIGHTFEST Hope Glow movement giving empowerment. #HopeAgiftOfEmpowerment