Light Up Ahwatukee


November 2023 marked a unique partnership between Junior League of Phoenix and Light Up Ahwatukee at its annual holiday festival. This partnership was initiated by JLP President, Kelly  Kaysonepheth. Kelly has been a longtime resident of Ahwatukee and thought of applying to be a charitable partner earlier this year after receiving some encouraging words from her neighbor. “It’s personally a win-win for me because it is a way to bridge JLP and the neighborhood I live in and give back to my community,” stated Kelly. 

Light Up Ahwatukee is a nonprofit that was recently rebranded from its predecessor name, Festival of Lights. This holiday kick-off event is Ahwatukee’s biggest one-day event. For over 25 years, the 501c3 organization has raised funds to “Light Up Ahwatukee” with the Million White Lights Display along Chandler Boulevard during the holiday season. Additional money raised is then donated to the community each year, which will include JLP this year. 

Over 35 JLP volunteers were in charge of running the Santa Village section of Light Up Ahwatukee, which included activities recommended by the JLP ROCKETS committee. Children worked on STEAM-focused worksheets while waiting in line to take pictures with Santa. “I’m proud to say that JLP had the largest contingent of volunteers that day!” stated Kelly. 

JLP would like to extend a gratitude of thanks to all of its volunteers and especially JLP members Shannon Spollen and Alex Adams. While it was raining outside during the morning set up, Shannon and Alex had a positive attitude and helped to set up the Santa Village so it was ready to go for the rest of the day. A gratitude of thanks is also extended to JLP member Megan May who was able to pick up more candy canes for Santa after he ran out of these sweets to provide to the children. “This simple act of service provided many smiles for several hundreds of kids who visited with Santa that day,” stated Kelly. 

With 2023 coming to a close, JLP extends gratitude to the incredible Phoenix community, partnerships, and JLP members and sustainers. 

Thank you to JLP President, Kelly Kaysonepheth, for your tremendous leadership and JLP looks forward to your continued direction through May 2024.  

We look forward to 2024 and wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.