Hundreds of kids left the annual Santa Run with the only gifts they might receive this Christmas.
While waiting on Santa
Some kids played kickball, while others threw the football and got their faces painted. As the night approached, most of the children left their games to run after a flying drone. Hot dogs and homemade cookies were served to everyone by Flagler West Community Church. Everything was free.
Pull quote: “We didn’t have much, so we did what we can do, and that’s the way it was for a long time. There were children, who were going without a Christmas, and they needed a Christmas, they needed something.” Don Price, one of the founders of the Santa Run, and the original Santa Claus
Article- West Bunnell had seemed like a forgotten destination on Santa Claus’ radar for a time. After a brief meeting with Don and Terri Price some 30 years ago, he’s made it his business to visit that area around the Christmas holidays. His latest stop was during the 31st-annual St. John’s Park Santa Run on Sunday, Dec. 20, at the Holler & Green Produce Company, where the event has been held for a few years.
“We didn’t have much, so we did what we can do, and that’s the way it was for a long time,” said Don Price, who acted as Santa for 29 years. “There were children, who were going without a Christmas, and they needed a Christmas, they needed something.”
What began as a hay ride in a store parking lot has turned into one of, if not, West Bunnell’s biggest community events in the year. The Santa Run attracts volunteers from the Bunnell Fire Department, churches such as Grace Tabernacle International and Flagler West Community Church, and the community members and residents, who donate new and gently-used toys to make hundreds of kids Christmas come true.
Santa brought along his wife, Mrs. Claus, and a few of his helpers, who first drove through the town in a parade and then made their way to families at Holler & Green. Each family receives two gifts for the parents and two gifts per child. Then, the kids make their way to the gently-used section to get other presents.
“We try to keep this a community event, but we often have families that may not be here, and they are more than welcome to come; everyone who shows up will get gifts from Santa,” Terri Price said.
During the Santa Run, Grace Tabernacle set up a Bible study tent for all who were interested to know more about the reason for the season.
“We try to promote Jesus as much as possible,” Terri Price added. “It is His birthday, and we try to let them know that.”
“Did I ever imagine it would ever get this big? Not really,” Don Price laughed. “But, Jesus does great things.”