This year, all of the money raised at Noon Sertoma's Lights at Kennedy will go to support the group's Backpack Buddies program, which has been short on cash this year.
Fortunately, the finances are beginning to improve, said program organizer Terry Moehnke.
The Backpack Buddies provides food over the weekends to school kids who may not have enough to eat. Kids are eligible if they're in the free and reduced school lunch program.
In October, Moehnke told The Messenger the program might not have enough money to operate after December.
"This year we've seen more demand, and more schools are involved," he said. "The number of kids asking for food has increased."
But now, said Moehnke, "Since that article came out in the paper, we've done very well with our fundraising. The Community Foundation kicked in, we had a private donor that donated $10,000, we had First Presbyterian Church has stepped up, First Covenant Church has stepped up, we got some money from Valero, and Daybreak Rotary."
Kennedy Lights Co-chairman Mike Johnson said, "We were pretty close to wondering if we were going to be able to continue it on the second semester. But it looks as though through some contributions and, hopefully, a successful Lights at Kennedy, we'll be able to sustain it for at least the end of the school year."
This year, the program covers all five public elementaries, St. Edmond Elementary and Fair Oaks Middle School. It gives out about 500 food bags each week, costing roughly $1,875 per week, or $75,000 for the school year.