STONINGTON — For years, the Stonington Borough Volunteer Fire Company has helped spread holiday cheer by escorting Santa Claus for a mid-December trip through the district to greet families.
Santa will ride again on Dec. 17, but this year’s visit will bring a twist to the long-established holiday tradition — a select number of children from within the fire district will have the opportunity to receive a hand-delivered gift from jolly old St. Nick.
The company has launched Santa’s Delivery, a pilot program that will combine the classic Santa Run with a fundraiser that will allow a limited number of families to have Santa stop at their home and deliver a gift.
“It’s something we think will add a little flavor to an already popular tradition,” said Deputy Chief Harold Mitchell.
The concept was brought to the department by Assistant Chief Brian Meadows, a volunteer who also works full-time for the Westport Fire Department, where a similar event is held. Mitchell said Meadows asked whether the district could try it and volunteers immediately jumped on board. In addition to delivering holiday cheer — a present, of course — Mitchell said the event would help raise funds that will support equipment replacement needs, training and other operational costs.
Presents will be dropped off at participating homes between 4 and 8 p.m. dring Santa’s Run.
“We believe there will be good interest in this, but we are trying to keep it small and manageable, especially this first year,” Mitchell said. “We only have a limited amount of time, so participation will be limited.”
To participate, interested families must live within the district, which extends from the borough to Lords Point. Families must register by Dec. 10 and bring a wrapped gift with the child’s name and address to the department in advance of the event. The cost to participate is $15 per household. Requests will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to register, email Stonington Borough Fire Capt. Theresa A. Hersh at email@example.com.