Santa inspects the decorations on a Sooke Fire Rescue truck, getting ready for the annual Santa Run to collect food and donations for the Christmas Bureau and the Sooke Food Bank. (Black Press)

Santa inspects the decorations on a Sooke Fire Rescue truck, getting ready for the annual Santa Run to collect food and donations for the Christmas Bureau and the Sooke Food Bank. (Black Press)

Sooke Santa Run coming soon

Santa can be tracked online

It’s that time of year again.

Santa is coming back to Sooke where, with the help of the Sooke Firefighters’ Association and the IAFF Local 4841, he’ll be travelling from house to house collecting cash and food donations for the Sooke Christmas Bureau and the Sooke Food Bank.

RELATED: Sooke Food Bank needs help

It’s the 25th Santa Run in Sooke (remarkably, Santa doesn’t seem to have aged a day) and Lowell Holmquist, the association charities committee chairperson, said that it’s a great reflection of Sooke’s generous nature.

“My experience is that people turn it into a big occasion. They love it when we come around and they’re always very generous.’ said Holmquist.

The Santa Run actually starts early with firefighters joining with a host of community volunteers on the next two weekends to collect food at Western Food, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Village Foods.

“We aim to collect about $10,000 in food and cash donations during that part of the program and on the actual Santa Run night, we are aiming at another $100,000 in donations,” said Holmquist.

The actual Santa Run starts at dusk on Dec. 8 when four brightly decorated trucks will take to the road with Santa on board (don’t ask how he’s on all the trucks simultaneously … it’s magic). Music plays as the trucks approach and helper elves follow along to collect the food and donations. That food and the cash donations are then delivered to the Christmas Bureau and the Sooke Food Bank, all in an effort to make Christmas a little brighter for those who need a little help.

“I can tell you that it’s one of my favourite events of the year,” said Sooke Fire Chief Kenn Mount.

“The firefighter’s association and the union really step up and make a difference.”

The routes for the Santa Run will be printed on special donation bags that will be distributed by the Sooke News Mirror and, for those folks who are waiting for Santa’s arrival on Dec. 8, the fire department has worked with the district’s geographic information system staff and will provide real-time location trackers for Santa as he makes his way through Sooke.

The link for that service will be available on the civic website at sooke.ca.

In Otter Point, a similar event will take place on the same night to also raise cash and food donations for the Sooke Food Bank.

“We call ours the Candy Cane Run,” said Otter Point Fire Chief John McCrea.

“It’s all done by our volunteer firefighters and it’s a great success. We hand out candy canes as we go around and every year we manage to fill two big pickup trucks with food donations.”

Holmquist said that anyone who is unable to be around on Dec. 8 can still drop off their bag of goodies at Fire Hall No.1, 2225 Otter Point Rd.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

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