ALDERSON, WV (WVNS) — Every community has their favorite event during the holiday season. For Alderson, driving under Christmas lights on the Alderson Memorial bridge is a time-honored tradition.

This year, the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department wanted to provide a deeper meaning to the annual event. They will collect donations for victims of the tornado in Kentucky.

Jessie Willis, Firefighter with the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department said they wanted to give back to the communities impacted, specifically near Mayfield, Kentucky, because of what they did for Alderson and Southern West Virginia during the Derecho in 2012.

“There was truck load after truck load of supplies that came in here to assist us when we needed it and our citizens,” Willis said.

Willis said the damage caused by the tornado made it difficult to determine specific needs for people impacted by the tornado. Instead of material donations, the fire department decided money would be put to better use. Willis said even just a dollar can go a long way to help people recover from the damage.

“A dollar to these folks right now probably would be, around Christmas time with these kids, is going to be like twenty dollars or fifty dollars to anyone else,” Willis said.

The Alderson Volunteer Fire Department is challenging people from across the region to come out and support the initiative.

“It would be hard anytime but especially at Christmas, there are families with kids that have basically lost everything so we are kind of challenging all the local fire departments, first responders and police departments to come, bring your families, encourage people to drive through,” Willis said.

If you are interested in attending or donating to the cause, the event takes place 6:00-9:00 p.m. December 18, 2021.