www.santashuffle.org. We launched the website on November 7th, 2012. It was a fun month of planning and promoting.
We drove up to the back corner of the Jewel/Osco parking lot in Yorkville. My son and I in our Santa suits, ready to rock. 8:45am on Saturday, December 8th. The cars crept in. I popped my trunk and began handing out the Santa suits.
My parents arrived, all smiles. Media/press people interviewed some of our Santas and snapped some photos. The energy was building.
Mayor Gary Golinksi and his son arrived. State Representative Kay Hatcher, too. It was exciting and it was coming to fruition! Kendall County Boardsman, Scott Gryder and his wife Heather and daughter were with us, too. It's refreshing to me that after an election, when the votes are already counted, the true character of goodness and generosity still shines through.
People pulled on their Santa suits. We even had a gentleman arrive and ask if we had an extra suit. We did. He joined us on our adventure.
It was time. We were ready. At 9:10am, we began our Santa Shuffle 2012.
We walked along Rt. 47. Cars passing us would honk and wave. We were waving as we went. The laughter of passerbyers was contagious. The energy was so positive! A few cars pulled off to the side of the road to take photos and videos of us passing by.
Bella Tressa is a client of mine and we waved at all of the girls in the shop as we shuffled past.
Rob Gryder and puppy were photographing us from across the street. My dear friend and "brother." It was great!
David Chesney, husband of one of our Santas, Anita Chesney, videoed and photographed as we went.
Rene Padilla our beloved photographer and owner of Padilla Studios also took a ton of photos.
Crossing the fox river bridge, we could see River City Roasters (our destination) just ahead.
Erich, the owner of River City Roasters had a lovely table and spread of cookies and cocoa for us all. It was a great place to pause. Tony Scott was there as Santa Claus and Jillian Duchnowski as his Assistant. Thank you to my dear friend Robyn Sutcliff for letting us borrow your Santa suit. More photos and great conversation and then we headed back toward Jewel.
Once back to Jewel, we decided to have a finale and parade through Jewel! It was fun and the reactions were priceless. We waved and wished everyone a Merry Christmas. It was a great ending to a wonderful morning.
So many thank you's to all who attended and all who made this a reality. My dear friends, my SPS friends, my new friends! My Dad. My Mom. My Stepdad. My Son. Wonderful! You are all simply wonderful!!
My heart was so tickled and touched. It was a fun experience and one I will never forget. Until next year.. ;) Merry Christmas from Suicide Prevention Services. www.spsamerica.org.
David Chesney created a video of the event. Please enjoy: http://youtu.be/KSpLF5F9kHg
Photography credits: Rene Padilla Studios, David Chesney, Rob Gryder, and Stephanie Weber.