“It’s really the highlight of the holidays to sit back and watch the generosity of our community revealed,” said Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “It’s been the gift that keeps on giving for my heart every year to watch this unfold.”
This year, the proceeds will be split between a record-breaking nine agencies: The East Texas Food Bank, the Bethesda Clinic, The Hospice of East Texas, the Alzheimer’s Alliance, People Attempting to Help (PATH), the East Texas Crisis Center, The Salvation Army, the Samaritan Counseling Center and Meals On Wheels.
Mayor Bass, who also is a certified public accountant, speculated on the potential that people who make more than $200,000 could see a cap on the amount of charitable donations that they are permitted to claim as a tax deduction.
“There are so many unknowns right now,” she said. “There are arguments on both sides, but some people may want to make a large gift when they know they can get the full value of their deduction.”
Since its inception in 2008, Shine Your Light has raised more than $600,000 to meet the most pressing needs in the community.
This year’s matching funds totaled $95,000, more than has ever been committed. The matching fund partners are the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Mayor Barbara and Billy Bass, the Fourth Partner Foundation, ETCF Harold and Rosemary Beaird Fund, the Niblack Charitable Fund, Terry and Dennis Darryl, Citizens 1st Bank, Drs. SJ Vukeja and Lawrence Anderson, Dermatology Associates of Tyler, American State Bank, and two anonymous donors.
To donate to Shine Your Light, ETCF.org, or mail your check payable to Shine Your Light c/o East Texas Communities Foundation, 315 N. Broadway Ave., Tyler, TX, 75702.