A merry Christmas in July

A merry Christmas in July
Ellen Scott, Santa and Shelly "Fireball" Hill were part of the fundraising efforts. - Submitted | Doreen Flynn

BRADENTON BEACH – Kids on Bridge Street got a surprise Saturday night, a visit from Santa Claus at the Anna Maria Island Privateers’ Christmas in July on Bridge Street at the Drift In. The Privateers and Drift In raised $2,500 for next year’s scholarships by holding raffles and serving a potluck dinner inside the bar. In the parking lot, people enjoyed cool refreshments while listening to live music from Dos Max.

Bridge Tender Inn and Dockside Bar employees Dana Coty and Carlee Griffin paired up and purchased the winning ticket for the liquor basket. Bridge Tender employee Denise Hendricks purchased the winning ticket for the Lotto Board that contained $320 in lottery tickets and two $50 bills.

Drift In manager Doreen Flynn said she was happy that some local employees won those raffle prizes. She also noted that Santa Claus took a break from his summer vacation and made an appearance at the annual fundraiser. She also thanked Privateer Shelly “Fireball” Hill and Pines Trailer Park resident Ellen Scott for making this year’s Lotto Board and assisting with the fundraising efforts.

Privateer Tim “Hammer” Thompson said the first $1,000 raised Saturday night will go toward the purchase of Christmas gifts for this year’s adopted Christmas family or families. The remaining $1,500 will be placed in the Privateer’s scholarship fund.

“It all ends up going to kids one way or another,” Thompson said, noting that a similar fundraiser will take place in December.