Volunteers filled the trucks with food items and cash donations in Otter Point’s Candy Cane Run. (contributed)

Sooke’s Santa Run joined with Otter Point to fill the food bank

Dozens of volunteers took to the streets to gather food and cash donations

The people of Sooke have once again stepped up to show their generous spirit by making the 2018 Santa Run an overwhelming success.

“We managed to gather well over 100,000 food items over the course of the night and a number of cash donations as well. It all got taken to the Sooke Food Bank, and I’m sure it’ll go a long way to making a lot of people’s Christmas a little easier this year,” said assistant fire chief Matt Barney.

Barney said that it was heartening to see the number of people who had either packed their special food bags and left them on the doorstep or driveway for the volunteers to collect or who waited, bags in hand, for the trucks to arrive.

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“We had Santa riding on all of the trucks (it’s magic, don’t ask how it’s done) and a lot of children came out to wave and yell Merry Christmas,” said Barney.

The collections took the four crews nearly five hours and the 20 firefighters who volunteered their time to the event, along with a group of their family members and other volunteers were happily exhausted by night’s end.

In Otter Point, a mirror event called the Candy Cane Run saw 15 firefighters and other volunteers take to the streets in their own decorated truck to collect food and cash for the Sooke Food Bank.

“It went really well. The people of Otter Point were, as always, really generous with their donations. We managed to collect about $400 in cash and two big truckloads of food. We dropped it all off at the food bank on Sunday morning and it was great to know that it was going to make a big difference this Christmas,” said McCrea.

McCrea was quick to stress that it was the people of Otter Point who deserve the credit for making the event a success and that the volunteers who ran the streets collecting food items were the real heroes of the night.

“That giving spirit on the part of volunteers and the public is what makes Christmas the magical season that it is,” said McCrae.

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