Thousands expected at annual Santa Run

Imagine yourself running in a Santa suit surrounded by thousands of other Santa look-a-likes during a chilly winter morning. Everyone is laughing and socializing with one another making their way through a 5K-race route. Which Santa participant is going to be the first to make it across the finish line?

The sixth annual Great Santa Run on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. will be held at the Town Square shopping center. Hosted by Opportunity Village, it is their annual world record attempt for the largest gathering of Santas, so running and walking is not a requirement. Participants are welcomed to stand and mingle in their Santa suits while enjoying the offered festivities.

“I enjoyed it tremendously [last year]. I loved the quality time I got to spend with fellow students and I even saw my absolute favorite teacher from eighth grade!” shared junior Desiree Tolentino.

The walk is held in order to help people with intellectual disabilities. Every year, approximately 10,000 people participate to help raise money for this cause. The donation cost for this event is $35 for adults and $25 for children age’s two to twelve until Dec. 2. A $10 fee is added if purchased on race day. The cost includes the five-piece Santa suit and numerous promotional goodies. All the profits will benefit Opportunity Village.

This is a family event and everyone is encouraged to attend. Parents may bring strollers for toddlers that cannot walk. In addition to the human Santa run, pets are also welcomed. Opportunity Village will be hosting a best-dressed doggie contest where a surprise will be presented to the winner after the race.

“I had a fantastic time [last year]. It was a ball. Everyone was in their Santa outifts, and even their dogs! I am so excited to go again this year. I even made a Mrs. Claus outfit this time!” exclaimed DECA Adviser Ms. Glenna Gaudy.

Sign-up sheets are available at Town Square Mall on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Grab your friends, form a team, jump into your Santa suits, and participate in the Great Santa Run.