Thank you to all the LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited Sponsors for fueling Day of Hope activities.



LIGHTFEST Re-ignited is as simple as displaying some form of LIGHT representing HOPE on the first Saturday in November. It can be a porch light, candle or flashlight.”

LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited, November 7, 2020


HOPE is the thread that pulls us together


On November 2, 2019 LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited helped celebrate the Historic 20th Anniversary for We Survive by sending  a Global message of HOPE.

There will be LIGHTFEST STATIONS created to join together hundreds of communities across the country and the world in celebrating HOPE as part of LIGHTFEST – Re-ignited.


Thank you to our LIGHTFEST Ambassadors.

Visit to learn more about our wonderful Ambassadors and more about LIGHTFEST.

The History

Written on July 21, 2014–It was 21 years ago when Terie Harper and Sharon Cecil had lunch at Sweet‘N Savory Café on Bardstown Road in Louisville, KY discussing how they could make a difference in peoples lives. The end result of that afternoon’s lunch—We Survive.

Moody Cecil designated his homestead in Bloomfield, KY, as the official headquarters for We Survive, Inc., a non-profit organization, that offers community teaching, activities and events breaking stereotypes, group development and inspiring strong youth leaders.

On July 12, 2014, We Survive held a Day of Hope and Lighthouse ground-breaking to kick-off their 20th year. Penny Haseker, CEO of Beacon Community Credit Union, was formally announced as the Beacon of Hope Grand Ambassador.

In previous years, We Survive has held an annual Hunger and Homeless Awareness Event in November at Hotel Louisville. In 2014, instead of one event, We Survive is re-igniting LIGHTFEST born from the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay. LIGHTFEST was held at Churchill Downs from 1997 to 2001.  The event’s mission continues to be Inspiring Hopes and Dreams

As We Survive re-ignites LIGHTFEST, they are encouraging everyone to show support for their community’s under resourced population by being a Light of Hope.

There will be LIGHTFEST STATIONS created to join together hundreds of communities across the country and the world in celebrating HOPE as part of LIGHTFEST – Re-ignited.

As a 1996 Olympic Torchbearer, I will pass my Olympic Torch to a young woman who will be taking over We Survive, Jenniffer (Vineyard) Truitt on November 8 (location TBA). Jenniffer, as an 11-year-old homeless child, attended a program we held in 1996 at a local homeless shelter.  “The Power of the Dream,” the theme song from the 1996 Olympics will be sung by Nita Whitaker.

Poverty can leave a host of problems in its wake. LIGHTFEST is a time to bring attention to the issues the impoverish face. Those living with and beyond poverty, family members, friends, healthcare providers and encouragers will unite in this symbolic event to show the world that we all can live meaningful, productive, and even inspiring lives, like Jenniffer.

The official theme for LIGHTFEST – Re-ignited – Celebration of HOPE.
HOPE is the thread that pulls us together

Past Events

Held Annually at Churchill Downslightfest_logo from 1997-2001, LIGHTFEST provides our youth with inspiration and hope by:

  • Recapturing the symbolic significance of the passage of the Olympic flame
  • Uniting the community through a shared celebration

LIGHTFEST consist’s of active, innovative, participatory learning and concludes with a Walk-of-Hope that exhibits positive energy on the move. LIGHTFEST is planned by youth for youth. LIGHTFEST is dedicated to cultivating a sense of community.

MARCH 24, 2001

This years LIGHTFEST took place at Churchill Downs at Millionaires Row. There were over 200 people that attended this event.

There was also a poster contest held at Eastern High School for the Millennium Edition LIGHTFEST poster. There were three official winners and one special student gave us the Theme for our event!

Kids! The Light at the End of the Tunnel was the theme of the 2001 LIGHTFEST. The theme song for the year was “WHEN YOU BELIEVE”.

LIGHTFEST was born from the Olympic Torch Relay and inspired by the song The Power of the Dream, the theme song of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

WE SURVIVE believes in the power of the dream, passing the light of hope and knowledge as we educate youth and encourage them to pursue their dreams.

LIGHTFEST was planned, promoted, and presented by youth. A special torch was designed by Samantha Cosby, Amanda Hoover, and Mrs. Hamilton from the Eastern High School Art Department.

The State Winner of the *National Arbor Day Poster Contest was announced along with planting a Poplar Tulip Tree before the Walk-of-Hope.

Our sponsors of the the event included:

United States Postal Service
Eastern High School WOW Club
Golden Spiral
Over 25 contributing organizations