GRAPEVINE — More than 30 Santas from across the state dropped in on Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas, on Saturday for one final get-together before the start of the Christmas season.This is the second year that the Lone Star Santas have met in Grapevine.The Lone Star Santa Charities are among the first groups to respond to natural disasters across the midwestern United States, bringing toys and comfort to children and other victims. They also provide a forum of fellowship for the exchange of ideas, networking, helping each other and general camaraderie.The Santas began their visit by walking across Main Street from the Grapevine Visitors Information Center and welcoming guests to the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Guests of all ages had the fun of guessing which was the “real” Santa Claus.Following the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s departure, the Lone Star Santas journeyed to the Town Square Gazebo to join the Grapevine Police Department for a Santa Cop Toy Drive. The toy dropoff spot is on Jenkins Street, one block east of Main Street, directly behind the Town Square Gazebo. The dropoff is for Lone Star Santas for that day only. Grapevine’s Santa Cop program began nearly two decades ago, featuring the jolly old elf in a blue uniform and badge instead of his traditional red suit as he delivered toys to a few needy children in the community. Today, more than 1,000 children are served annually.The program was conceived by retired crime prevention officer Margie Salame, who said it shows that police officers are friends and that they care about the gift recipients.“We want every kid to have a good Christmas, and if one kid goes without receiving a gift, he or she might not have a good holiday,” Salame said.Gifts and monetary donations to Santa Cops for kids between the ages of six months and 17 years are donated by local churches, charities and businesses, as well as individuals.To donate a new unwrapped toy, take it to the Police Department at 307 W. Dallas Road or to other drop boxes at the Senior Activities Center, Community Activities Center, Central Fire Station, Waffle House and City Hall.For further information, contact Sgt. Dale Roath at 817-410-3206.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367