TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Seminole Heights community came together this weekend to get into the holiday spirit with the first annual Light the Heights event.
Participating in the event are 60 neighborhood businesses, restaurants and bars.
The idea behind Light the Heights was sparked as police were working to solve the murders of Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton. At first, the community just wanted to thank officers for their continuing work.
Now that Howell Donaldson III has been arrested, the shift changed. Light the Heights is now an effort to help businesses that were struggling, losing business because a killer was on the loose.
Co-organizer Courtney Bumgarner says these businesses are the heart of Seminole Heights.
“They are why people come to Seminole Heights, we know many are struggling, so we wanted to do something to bring people back to Seminole Heights and get people from outside of the area to support all the great restaurants and bars,” she said.
In order to boost holiday cheer in Seminole Heights, Light the Heights volunteers decorated 60 homes in the community.
“It has been great helping people who are physically unable or could not afford Christmas lights or decorations, and it has just been wonderful to see what a difference it makes for some people, just to bring holiday cheer to them,” said Bumgarner.
A free trolley courtesy of HART will be shuttling people for free to the different businesses until 9 p.m. Sunday night.
The event runs all day Sunday.