For the ninth year in a row, Hillyard Santa is getting ready to distribute gifts to children in Northeast Spokane. The first distribution days are Thursday Dec. 15 and Friday Dec. 16. And then he's back for one more round all next week - from Dec. 19 through Dec. 23 - supplies and gifts permitting.
The gift distribution takes place at Bank of America's branch at 3009 E. Olympic (just off Market Street) and last year kids from 615 families got a gift from Hillyard Santa.
This year, Santa is worried that he wont be able to make the growing need: he missed a few fundraisers this summer because he was under the weather, so he still needs donations of cash or new, unwrapped toys. Donations can be dropped off at Bank of America in Hillyard (Santa keeps his stash in the vault there) or at the Outlaw Cafe (5012 N. Market Street)
It's 73-year-old Clyde Decker who's Santa's personal assistant (hint, hint) He spends all year getting ready for Christmas by purchasing toys at special sales and having fundraisers at community events. His latest 19-day fundraising stint at Safeway in Hillyard raised $1,047.
Parents and guardians: don't bring your children to the bank - let's keep the magic intact - but do bring identification for the child asking for a gift, like a medical card.
If you need a volunteer to pick up donations, please call: (509) 220-2885.
(The photo is of Clyde Decker at last year's gift distribution)