The Sun City West PRIDES found out just how successful was their 2019 luminaria campaign.
Saturday morning, Shortly after Sun City PRIDES’ Saturday morning work picking up litter and tending to plants and irrigation along Sun City West’s major roadways, group members gathered at the Sun City West Foundation building, 14465 R.H. Johnson Blvd., for their general meeting and breakfast, provided by Camino del Sol Funeral Home. PRIDES President Ralph Johnson at that time received $6,125 check from Bob Riddle for Luminaria sales.
The Sun City West PRIDES 16 years ago partnered with Bob Riddle of Bob’s Variety, 13567 Camino del Sol, to restore the tradition of lighting these luminaria bags as a way to add the warm glow of community spirit to Christmas Eve. This past year was also the 10th year the PRIDES extended this tradition to military families stationed at Luke Air Force Base, 14185 Falcon St., Glendale.
Sun City West is not the only community to appreciate the luminaria tradition. Sandy Strother of Westbrook Village was one of the special guests in the audience who came to thank the PRIDES for keeping the luminarias tradition alive. Westbrook Village residents bought 173 kits (2,076 luminarias), according to Sandy Strother, Westbrook Village spokeswoman.
“Residents were not only encouraged to buy them for their own property, but also for the common areas. Many residents bought one kit for themselves and two or three for the common areas.” Ms. Strother explained. “We use them as a way for the community to come together.”
Inclement weather kept actually lighting of the luminaria on Christmas Eve in 2019.
“Even though the rain kept us from lighting the luminarias on Christmas Eve, the lighting ceremony in Westbrook took place at 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve,” Ms. Strother said. “As many of us walked through our community at 5 p.m., we saw several groups gathered in their garages, spreading wishes of peace and good will.”
The sale of luminarias is the PRIDES only fundraising event. Additional donations can be sent to Sun City West PRIDES, 14630 R.H. Johnson Blvd, Sun City West, AZ 85375.
Editor’s Note: Ms. Bublitz provides publicity for the Sun City West PRIDES.