LightFest Re-Ignited | 11.03.2018

We Survive has re-ignited LIGHTFEST which was born from the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.

Join LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited on November 3, 2018. A single act of kindness, stepping outside at 7pm EDT wherever you are and Shining a Light of HOPE, will bring awareness to those struggling with the issues of poverty, susceptible to poverty, hunger and homelessness. It can be a cell phone, flashlight, candle or turn on your porch light.

LightFest Stations

Light A Candle Night| Pledge

1. Advocate

Ask all your friends, family, and co-workers to shine a LIGHT OF HOPE on November 4 at 7pm EDT.

2. Empower

Empower those affected by poverty and homelessness to BELIEVE in the power of having a dream.

3. Create

Create a LIGHTFEST STATION to hold activities that will bring awareness to impoverish communities.

4. Donate

Donate $25 (or more) to sponsor a impoverished child to attend a Day of Hope camp and help change a life.

LIGHTFEST Re- Ignited is renewing the promise to spread a message of HOPE Worldwide. We Survive, re-ignited LIGHTEST to make good on a promise made 22 years ago by Sharon and Moody Cecil to inspire our youth to aspire. “You + Youth = Today’s Hope” LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited is world-changing as we improve impoverished lives. When you donate $25 (or more) you will receive a Key of Hope while sponsoring an impoverished child to attend a Day of Hope camp and help change a life and empowering those affected by poverty and homelessness to BELIEVE in the power of having a dream. Be a Key of Hope partner. Join by giving a gift today to help us provide life-changing experiences for children and families that are in an impoverished situation. We believe 2018 is going to be a banner year as we continue to spread the message of HOPE Worldwide. Your voice and your support will mean so much to the children and families living in poverty. Lightfest Re-Ignited is renewing the promise to spread the message of HOPE Worldwide. You can help make a difference.

-Sharon Cecil

2018 LIGHTFEST RE-IGNITED Celebrating the 21st Anniversary of the Original LIGHTFEST

Remembering Moody Cecil's Amazing Vision as the Founding Father of We Survive and the creation of LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited offering the continued message of Inspiration and Hope.

Jenniffer Truitt

Jenniffer Truitt | The Power of the Dream
Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

Sharon and Jenniffer

Sharon and Jenniffer

A Story of Hope | How It All Began!

In 1996, Sharon Cecil met Girl Scout Troop 1472. They were working on a project –Growing Up Female. The troop became involved with the pilot program for WOW that started at Wayside Christian Mission. The girls wanted to use their clowning ministry to help educate about the concepts of the WOW program. These girls were instrumental in creating many of WE SURVIVE’s events including the original LIGHTFEST born from the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay held at Churchill Downs in 1997.

Jenniffer (Vineyard) Truitt attended this program as an 11-year-old homeless child. She states, “My childhood was somewhat unsettled due to frequent moves; as a result we ended up in Wayside Christian Mission. I was probably about six when first introduced to the Mission. We, my siblings and I, were later taken in by other families, but my Mother continued to frequent Wayside. On one of my return visits when I was about 10 or 11, I remember being entertained by young clowns. This has become one of my most secure and happy memories of the Mission. I believe this group of clowns was the first group of WOW Girlz when WOW was first presented to Wayside. The clowns' mission: make the young girls feel more secure, adapt to Wayside, and provide healthful information – mission accomplished.

We Survive continues to reach out to children and families through Day of Hope activities and LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited.

The Power of the Dream
“Feel the flame forever burn
Teaching lessons we must learn
To bring us closer to the power of the dream”


LightFest-ReIgnited Ambassadors

Nikki and Brittany

Youth Advocates

Twenty years ago, in 1996, Girl Scout Troop 1472 created the WOW program as part of their Girl Scout Silver Award Project. After completion of the Silver Award, Nikki and Brittany stepped into WOW leadership roles. WOW became an Award Winning Program.

Heather Henry

Miss America 2000

State of Kentucky Commissioner of Veterans Affairs and a nationally recognized Veterans Advocate for our military.

Roosevelt Fenelus


Roosevelt has been a voice, advocate, and international speaker to help make education available to impoverished children in Haiti.

Henry Holden


STAR Ambassador Henry Holden will shine brightly for LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited. He was an actor, writer, playwright and advocate against the exclusion and negative typecasting of persons with disabilities.

Jamie Diebel

Youth Advocate

St. Baldrick’s Foundation Honored Hero, a youth advocate and healthcare provider.

Shokaola Dean

Youth Mentor

Role model & mentor to young women, nurse practitioner, works in Women's Health and Adult Health, educates and advocates-- HIV/AIDS, homelessness and mental health.

Moody Cecil

We Survive

STAR Ambassador Moody Cecil will shine brightly for LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited. As a visionary, educator, youth advocate, believer in dreams and co-founder of We Survive he created a "Legacy for Future Generations".

Clayton Hensley

Hensley Guttering

For over 45 years, Hensley has serviced the Louisville area specializing in Roofing, Guttering, Gutter covers, and windows.

Abdul Hafiz

Youth Advocate

Youth mentor and advisor, graduate of Northeastern University, a Torch Scholar, and humanitarian since 8 years old. Currently, a student at Fordham University School of Law.

Billy Hallowell

Youth Advocate

For over 15 years, Billy has worked as a journalist and commentator. He became a national spokesperson for youth at 15 yrs. old.



We help companies promote their business through graphic design, print, mail, signs, banners and logoed apparel.

Barbara Anderson


Executive Director Haven House Services Jeffersonville, IN Board of Directors-National Coalition for the Homeless


About LightFest

1994 | We Survive was founded

1996 | WE SURVIVE established the WOW Program and the pilot program began at Wayside Christian Mission

1997 - 2001 | Lightfest held at Churchill Downs

2007 | WOWz Wacky Wellness Fest began at Galen College of Nursing

2009 | Day of Hope--health and wellness activities at Haven of Hope

2011 | WOW Celebrates 15 years ANNOUNCING at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy

2012 - 2013 | New initiative started with local schools and colleges

2014 | Beacon of Hope Project launched July 12, at Haven of Hope and November 8, LIGHTFEST Re-ignited was locally held at the Muhammad Ali Center and St. Augustine Catholic Church. Other sites around the country joined the celebration as well.

2015 | WE SURVIVE partnered with Act Out For Kids to host a mural and poetry contest. The winning murals were painted by children during the LIGHTFEST event on November 7 and they were displayed during the 2016 We Day Kentucky Conference and at the Day of Hope in July 2016.

2016 | A LIGHTFEST Commemorative Tapestry was created during the Louisville LIGHTFEST event under the expertise of "Sunshine" Joe Mallard.

20TH Anniversary Celebration held in 2014

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

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.

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Official Sponsors

We Survive


Beacon of Hope

Nulou Web Solutions


Guiding Businesses to Success


Louisville, KY


Louisville, KY


Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center Louisville, KY

Just Creations

Louisville, KY

Fern Creek Funeral Home

Louisville, KY

Kentucky One Health

Louisville, KY

Ali Center

Louisville, KY


Louisville, KY


Internet and Telephone


Louisville, KY


Louisville, KY

Master of Ceremony

Louisville, KY


Louisville, KY

Beacon Community Credit Union

Louisville, KY

Tackle The Agenda

Headquartered in Trenton, OH

Messages of Hope

  • Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of We Survive… this is a very creative way for you to turn over the reins to Jenniffer (and what a great story there)!

    Michelle Scribner, Program Director | Arbor Day Foundation

  • As an observer of the WOW programs growth from inception, to original implementation with the homeless women at Wayside Christian Mission in 1996, I am amazed at the program’s power to positively impact the lives both young and old in our community.

    Nina Moseley, COO | Wayside Christian Mission

  • The Altenheim is proud to partner with We Survive… their students are so genuine and kind to our senior population. Our residents love participating in their educational programs as they generate an enjoyable atmosphere for learning. We look forward to continuing our partnership with We Survive for many years to come.

    Mary Ann Bond, Director Social Services | The Altenheim

  • We Survive has provided invaluable support to the occupational therapy programs at Spalding University and Jefferson Community and Technical College. We Survive leaders have hosted and supervised students from both programs for fieldwork education providing them with real-world experiences that have benefited the students and community alike. Our programs look forward to matching students with We Survive twice a year, and students always rave about the experiences they have with them. Spalding and JCTC are incredibly fortunate to be partners with We Survive.

    Angela M. Cecil, MBA, OTR/L, Assistant Professor | Spalding University


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    11.03.2018 | 07:00 PM ET

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