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Claymont Community Center to hold annual festival of lights

Claymont Community Center to host 5th annual festival of lights
Claymont Community Center to host 5th annual festival of lights 01:50

CLAYMONT, Del. (CBS) -- Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali. There are so many winter holidays and they're all different, but one thing they have in common is light.

Preparations are underway for the fifth annual festival of lights at the Claymont Community Center in Delaware.

"It's an event that we created to celebrate the rich diversity of all of the holidays in the winter that celebrates lights," said Allison David, the CEO of Claymont Community Center.

As guests enjoy snacks, organizers will light the Christmas tree, the menorah for Hanukkah and the Kwanzaa lights. The Diwali lights will already be lit.

"We think that this is a great way to show that no matter what kind of differences we have," David said, "there's a lot of ways in which we all have similarities in customs and traditions."

The event is free, but guests have the option of buying a replica lightbulb to honor someone special in their lives, whether it be a newborn, a recent college graduate, or a loved one who died.

A minimum $10 dollar donation is requested to purchase the light.

"While the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year," David said, "they're also sometimes sad, and it's hard and people are struggling."

Jenn Kutney-Soper lost her grandmother years ago.

She bought a replica light for $25 not only to honor her grandmother but also to support the community center, which runs a senior center, youth program and food closet.

"I have two children, in particular two boys," Kutney-Soper said. "My oldest, in particular, has benefited from the empowered youth program. It gave him an opportunity to learn skills that he wouldn't otherwise have."

The community center has already raised $7,000 through the fundraiser. It's the first time the event is being held in person and inside since the pandemic.

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