NORAD’s tracking of Santa Claus, will still happen with a few tweaks.
ZANESVILLE – State and local COVID-19 restrictions caused the Zanesville Jaycees to cancel several of its annual community events intended to fund the organization’s Christmas for Kids program, but the group is still hopeful that Santa can help make up for some of those losses.
Children’s experiences with Santa may be a little different this year due to the coronavirus. However the Zanesville Jaycees will invite families to its club house at 530 Commissioner St. to visit Santa next month. (Photo: Gannett file photo)
“We would still like to raise money and do our Christmas for Kids, even though it’s going to be a little bit different, we still want to be able to try to raise money in order to help as many kids as possible,” Vice President Elect Travis Reed said.
The club is now hosting a new event that gives families a chance to make holiday memories that might be sparse this year while raising money for children in need to have a special Christmas too.
During the first two days of December, the Jaycees are inviting families to its club house at 530 Commissioner St. to visit Santa.
“We have tried to come up with a very health-focused, expedited way to do this,” Reed said.
Participants will be required to wear masks if over the age of 2 and comply with social distancing standards. Visitors will be asked to wait in their cars until it’s their turn. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
The cost is $20 and includes digital photo copies as well as permission for families to take photos of their own.
Money raised from the event will be used to fund the Christmas for Kids Program.
“It is one of our biggest events that we have. We usually take individuals that are in need and usually like the families might not be able to provide the best Christmas for them, but every child deserves to have a wonderful Christmas,” Reed said.
Various fundraising events like Stars and Stripes on the River, concerts at Secrest Auditorium and alcohol sales at the group’s food truck rallies were all canceled over the spring and summer, making it challenging to raise the money needed for the Christmas program.
“We were not allowed to sell any of the beverages that usually we make our money on due to the restrictions put on us,” Reed said.
Those setbacks mean for some changes to Christmas for Kids in 2020.
In the past, members of the Jaycees would take children in need Christmas shopping for themselves and their families. The program would include a special gift from Santa and a gift-wrapping pizza party.
This year, the Jaycees are planning on providing gift baskets instead.
Donations are being accepted online at Zanesville Jaycees website.
Reed said the more who choose to donate means the more children who will received Christmas baskets.
“I think that the strength of the Zanesville community, especially from the fact of still being able to put on the fireworks and how much unity people showed through donations, individual donations and company donations from around the area, shows how resilient we are,” Reed said. “I know that the Zanesville community will stay strong, and I’m sure that anyone who can donate will.”
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