Throughout this festive season, TEP is embracing the joy of giving and commitment to community service.

Our employees are making a meaningful impact in our region by volunteering to collect gifts and food. Others are preparing holiday displays and spreading spirit at local events. Here are five ways we’re creating warm memories:

Winterhaven Festival of Lights

Sustaining a tradition since 1949, TEP employees climbed into bucket trucks last week to string lights on tall trees towering over decorated houses and yards in the Winterhaven midtown neighborhood.

For all but two years since its inception, hundreds of thousands of visitors have traversed the streets to marvel at creative displays. TEP has served as the festival’s title sponsor since 2017.

In addition to decorating, TEP employees help staff food collection boxes at the event for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. While food bank volunteers are stationed at the four Winterhaven entrances every night, you’ll see us out there on a few nights throughout the festival, including Dec. 15 and 23.

“I enjoy spending time with friends and meeting new people at the event while contributing to a greater purpose of service for the Community Food Bank,” said Lindsay Poole, Chair of TEP’s Community Action Team and one of TEP’s volunteer organizers for Winterhaven.

The festival runs through Dec. 25.

Reid Park ZooLights

New sloth and anteater structures made by TEP Fabrication Welding employees are making their holiday debut at the Reid Park Zoo’s Holiday Magic display event. Each year, our employees craft new animal sculptures made of steel to donate to the zoo for ZooLights and other nighttime events.

TEP serves as the title sponsor of ZooLights.

The sloth and anteater join a variety of other illuminated animals, twinkling light shows, and simulated snow showers on the zoo grounds. Employees are handing out giveaways and free smart thermostats to TEP customers on select nights, next on Dec. 15.

ZooLights runs through Dec. 23 with encore nights on Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2-7.

Lights Up! A Festival of Illumination

Employee volunteers are serving as ambassadors for guests at the holiday light spectacle at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

As a longtime partner of the gardens, TEP previously made a donation to help the gardens upgrade to LED-illuminated luminarias, instead of solely fire-lit luminarias in previous years. TEP supported the transition to the Lights Up! format that debuted last year at the gardens, including six themed areas and more than 1 million lights.

The festival runs through Jan. 7.

Parade of Lights

TEP is commemorating 30 years of our Community Action Team (CAT), our employee volunteer group, with an entry in the Downtown Parade of Lights on Dec. 16. TEP volunteers, family members and friends will be decorating the vehicle and riding in the parade, which starts at Armory Park.

Watch for our birthday-themed float including a bucket truck and PowerCAT, our mascot for our volunteer activities.

Giving Back

Employees are continuing their tradition of giving back through volunteer work and donations.

Earlier this month, about 100 TEP employees helped about 120 children from five Boys & Girls Clubs locations select new clothes and shoes in a TEP-funded shopping event at Kohl’s. For these events, Kohl’s opens early to allow shoppers to select holiday gifts.

To kick off the season, our employee volunteers assisted at the Holiday Harvest Food Drive in advance of Thanksgiving to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. TEP matched donations up to $25,000.

TEP employees also organize their own holiday drives at work, supporting a variety of local nonprofit organizations with toys, gifts and other donations.

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