SANTA Claus is coming to town - or to be precise, hundreds of them are!
A host of red and white suited runners are set to ho-ho-hotfoot it into Doncaster over the next two weekends at a pair of fantastic fund-raising spectaculars.
Scores of athletes will be pulling on their trainers as well as their Father Christmas outfits for this weekend’s annual Santa Dash at Sandall Park before there’s more seasonal silliness next Sunday with a one-and-a-half mile Santa Run at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.
The event at Doncaster Rovers’ home ground is in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice - and six-year-old Kian Critchley, one of the hospice’s first ever users, will be among those taking part in the festive run along with his family.
Kian from Intake was one of the first children to visit Bluebell Wood as it opened its doors in 2008. He has lissencephaly, epilepsy and cerebral palsy which means he can’t talk or walk and has to eat pureed food.
He visits the hospice along with his family for respite care so his parents can have a well-earned rest and get a good night’s sleep, while staff at Bluebell Wood take over Kian’s care.
His older brothers 12 year-old Callum and 16 year-old Danny are also taking part in the event to show their support for Bluebell Wood which they also visit with Kian.
Kian’s dad Tony said: “Bluebell Wood is a lifeline for our family; if it wasn’t there it would be like losing a family member.
“Thank you just doesn’t seem enough so we are taking part in the Santa Run and are urging other families to get involved and show their support for Bluebell Wood which will enable the hospice to help other families like ours.”
Rachael Dawes, corporate fundraiser at Bluebell Wood said: “This is the first year we have done a Santa Run in Doncaster so we’re really excited about it and are thrilled that Kian and his family are joining us.
“Its fabulous to see them get involved in our events and show their support for Bluebell Wood, and we hope the local community will get behind them and share in the festive spirit. We’re hoping to raise lots of money for the hospice so we can provide our services to more local children who have a shortened life expectancy.”
Tickets for the event cost £10 for adults which includes a Santa suit and goody bag and £5 for children including a flashing nose and antlers. For further details or to purchase tickets call Rachael on 01909 517365 or go to; http://www.bluebellwood.org/decemberevents.php
Meanwhile, there will be more festive fun from 11am at Sandall Park this Sunday at the Santa Dash which has been organised by the Friends of Sandall Park Group and is in aid of the Aurora Centre.
Entry for adults is £8, which includes a full Santa suit, belt and beard, £3 for children, for antlers, bells a flashing red nose and medal and £20 for a family of four.
The one mile run is on tarmac paths and is suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users and there will also be prizes for the best dressed dog.
To enter, or for more details, contact 01302 381302 or 07975540533 or visit www.theauroracentre.co.uk