Community

Arlington's Santa Run collects for food bank

ARLINGTON — Arlington's annual Santa Run for 2011 ended on Dec. 16, with approximately 6,500 pounds of food and almost $900 in cash collected for the Arlington Community Food Bank.

The Arlington Santa Run is a 22-year-old community tradition that runs for a number of nights in December to bring Santa and a bit of holiday cheer to the otherwise dark and dreary nights, all the while collecting food and monetary donations for the Arlington Community Food Bank.

Organized by the Arlington Firefighters Local No. 3728, this year's Santa Run was 13 nights and covered over 40 road miles, although Santa and his elves probably walk much more than that. New decorations for Santa's "sleigh" were donated by Arlington Hardware and Walmart.

In 2011, volunteers from the Arlington Fire Department, local service clubs, city employees and their families, and countless citizens donated over 455 hours to the Santa Run itself, not including the additional time of preparing, weighing, and delivering the food to the Arlington Food Bank. Said, Fire Chief Bruce Stedman, "This is what Christmas and the Arlington Community is all about."

"The Santa Run truly shows the commitment to community service that the employees of the city of Arlington, as well as the residents and businesses of Arlington possess," stated Arlington Firefighters Local President Dan Hargroves. "From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, citizens of Arlington, for your incredible generosity."

On an annual basis, the Santa Run brings in Arlington Community Food Bank's largest winter donation. The city has tracked the donations of food and money since 2007:

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