by Jennifer Sierra, video by Jimmy King
Watch video highlights here:
On a warm evening, 2 nights earlier than normal, Santa dropped into Bellevue and Dayton, Kentucky to make an early and special delivery to some needy families. Santa parked his sleigh at the firehouse and with the help of the Bellevue Dayton Fire Department, he made the rounds to 12 families. 6 of the families were from Dayton and 6 in Bellevue.
The school resource center at Lincoln Elementary and Grandview Elementary supplied the list of needy families to the fire department with a total of 43 kids among them. The Ladies Auxiliary and union fund supplement the program and the Christmas hams were donated by Bellevue Kroger this year.
This is the 19th year the fire department has helped Santa. According to fireman, Jim Richmond, the firemen started this 20 years ago when they were the Bellevue Fire Department and all of the volunteer firefighters chipped in $20.00 each. The program has grown and now they are able to work with an estimated $500.00 budget. Richmond, who spearheads the effort every year, said, “This might be my last year. We have had a lot of new guys come on board and I think it is time to pass the program on to them.”
Santa arrived in his beautiful red suit that matched the red firetruck. He loaded the back of a red pickup with sacks of toys and bags of food for a Christmas dinner for the whole family. He climbed into the fire engine and the cavalcade started down the road to the first house. Santa delivered the goodies and the children were wide-eyed. After all, they were getting to meet a pretty famous guy! As Santa left one house, a small child followed him to the door and peered out. In a sweet, little voice the child said, “Santa, where are your reindeer?” Santa turned around and replied, “I left them at the firehouse so I could ride the fire engine!” And who wouldn’t want a ride on a fire engine?
Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas!