Santa Run extends one night

ARLINGTON — Firefighters, their friends and their families have spent the past two weeks escorting Santa through most of Arlington’s many different neighborhoods on a fire engine. The fire trucks and assisting vehicles were all lit up with Christmas tunes bursting forth throughout the city.

While Santa greeted and distributed candy canes to all the children, his helpers gathered donations of food for the Arlington Food Bank.

“They filled up the truck last night,” Sherri Phelps said Wednesday after offering her assistance on several different nights — on behalf of the city staff one night and as a member of the Arlington Kiwanis Club on another night.

The project is coordinated by firefighter Rhonda Davies, who planned the routes, recruited helpers and counted the food collected.

As of press time, Monday, Dec. 15, the Santa Run had already delivered 3,200 pounds of food to the food bank and deposited $795 into the food bank account.

“We haven’t counted the collections from the weekend,” Davies said.

Along with city staff and the Kiwanis Club, other community groups that helped include Junior ROTC and National Honor Society from Arlington High School and girls Little League.

“This is a firefighters’ project,” said the city’s spokesperson, Kristin Banfield.

“Rhonda Davies does an amazing job of putting this together. It’s wonderful public outreach. We really appreciate all the community help.”

Originally scheduled from Dec. 6 - 17, the Santa Run has been extended another night, Dec. 18, to cover the route along 67th Avenue that was cancelled Friday, Dec. 12, due to wind and rain.

On Thursday,Dec. 18, Santa will visit Uplands, Airway Mobile Park, Mobile Estates and Hidden Glen, on 67th Avenue.

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