The collective efforts of neighbors in Mountlake Terrace brought some holiday cheer to the Concern for Neighbors Food Bank.
On Jan. 2, neighbors in the Glenmore Estates subdivision off of 228th Street Southwest presented the food bank with a little over $7,000 from donations raised because of the efforts the neighbors put into Christmas lights every year.
Neighbors shared duties in December, sitting in a tent and accepting donations for the food bank from passing motorists who came in to see the light show through Dec. 31.
“We still get people coming through who say, ‘We didn’t know you were here,” said Ron Warhol, a Glenmore Estates resident.
Eight years ago, two neighbor girls gave away hot chocolate to passing motorists and other neighbors. Their generosity fueled the annual collection, Warhol said.
“We laugh and have a good time out there,” he said.
Residents also installed a carousel, “inherited” from another Mountlake Terrace family who used to raise money for charity as well.
“I’ll tell you, some of those 14 and 15-degree evenings, it’s pretty cold,” he said.
Last year, Glenmore Estates residents raised $12,700 and 6,000 pounds of food. This year, they raised just a little more than half that total, because snow and ice got in the way.
“We were ahead this year until the weather hit,” Warhol said.
Across town, the Schnee family’s lights drew crowds as well.
Darin and Carla Schnee and their daughter Amanda donated $1,600 to the food bank recently after collecting donations through December.
Darin even dressed up as Santa Claus and Amanda wore a Santa’s helper outfit.
“This year we had a motorhome parked across the street from the house,” said Darin Schnee, whose family lives off of 66th Avenue West. Vandals struck last year, so Schnee decided to sleep in the motorhome.
Last year, their first year donating to the food bank, the family raised $2,000.
This year, things were looking up in the donation department, until the cold snap hit.
Schnee said he switched to energy efficient but more expensive Light Emitting Diode (LED) illumination to save money on electricity.
“We all enjoy going down there, checking it out every year,” said neighbor Pam Sheridan. “They’re really doing a great thing.”