Winterfest 2014 is a big success in Marana - News - Explorer

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Winterfest 2014 is a big success in Marana

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J.D. Fitzgerald/The Explorer

Dan Heston crosses the finish line at the Marana Winterfest on Jan. 25. Dan ran 57 miles over a 12 hour period to help raise money for the Marana Food Bank.

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Harley Davidson and the Marana Host Lions Club teamed up on Saturday to raise money and collect food for the Marana Community Food Bank in the fourth annual Winterfest. The free event was hosted  at Harley Davidson, located at 7355 Interstate 10 Frontage Road.

Initially, Marana Community Food Bank Director Linda Hampton approached Harley Davidson to see if the company would like to participate in the Winterfest, but scheduling conflicts arose.

“We had initially planned to host our Winterfest at a different location,” said Hampton. “When we asked Harley Davidson, they said they wanted to participate but couldn’t because they had their Annual Used Parts Swap Meet on the same day. But then a light went on, and we said, ‘What if we host both things here?’”

Harley Davidson agreed, and the organizations combined forces to host a classic car show, vendor fairs, children’s activities, food, music, and entertainment, as well as the swap meet, in which motorcycle enthusiasts can buy, sell, or trade bike parts. 

The annual Winterfest attracts more than 300 people each year, while the Harley Davidson swap meet attracts more than 1,000 people. Last year, about $10,000 was raised, a number that could easily be surpassed this year with the larger crowd. 

The Marana Host Lions Club co-sponsored the event. Among the organization’s goals are to provide free or cheap eye exams as well as glasses to needy individuals who can’t otherwise afford it. 

Dan Heston, a regular participant in the event, showed his support and encouraged donations by running for 12 hours straight, from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. He stopped only for minutes at a time to eat and drink water. Last year, his effort raised $7,000.

“It’s a remarkable personal commitment he has to the food bank,” said Hampton. 

Heston also formed Footfalls For Food in 2010, a running program that specifically raises money for the food bank. 

The Marana Police Department was also in attendance, providing free fingerprinting to children. 

Winterfest began as a cooperative effort between Canyon Community Food Bank and Citizens Insurance Group, who formed a committee with the goal of generating food and money donations for the Marana Community Food Bank. 

The willingness of so many to help doesn’t get overlooked, according to Hampton.

“I am continually amazed and touched by the generosity of this community,” she said. “If all I had to do everyday was see people in need of food, I’d be sad, but I also get to see the generosity of so many people, and that makes me happy.”

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J.D. Fitzgerald/The Explorer

Dan Heston crosses the finish line at the Marana Winterfest on Jan. 25. Dan ran 57 miles over a 12 hour period to help raise money for the Marana Food Bank.

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