It’s all Santa, all the time
tOM VAUGHT | SUN
Rihanna Williams gave Santa a big hug as he
walked up the beach.
ANNA MARIA – Santa paid a visit to 237 grateful kids at the annual Lawton Chiles Kids Day at the Sandbar restaurant last week. Instead of a sleigh, he gave the reindeer the day off and came by fire truck and motor scooter, which he drove around the beach to the waiting arms of the kids.
This event is for the underprivileged kids in the area, and they played games, enjoyed a bounce house, mingled with some celebrity cartoon characters and ate lunch before lining up to sit on Santa’s lap and get some gifts.
This program, started by Sandbar owner Ed Chiles’ father and former governor, has grown every year, and the staff of the restaurant made it happen with their hard labor, along with contributions from the community.
Chiles could not make the event because he was stuck in Europe unable to land in the United States, due to blizzard conditions in the North. In the past he has called this event an example of the real Christmas spirit.
Sandbar Special Events Coordinator Patti McKee organized the presents, which were matched with each recipient, and the donations to purchase them.