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Santa will deliver presents across Sanibel on Tuesday

By Staff | Dec 18, 2008

Santa Claus always comes to Sanibel a few days early every year — thanks to the hard-working elves at the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club.

The 35th annual Santa Run happens this Tuesday, Dec. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m., when local Kiwanians, led by Dick Muench, will collect presents that have been dropped off at the Sanibel Fire Station located at 2351 Palm Ridge Road and will deliver them to good little girls and boys all over the island.

The tradition started 35 years ago when Muench re-created a neighborhood tradition from his previous home in Upstate New York.

“We were newlyweds then,” explained Muench’s wife, Emily. “It was an experience that Dick would participate in with all the neighbors, even before we had children of our own.”

Muench, who has been a resident of Sanibel for about 40 years now, missed the neighborhood tradition, and decided to start a tradition of his own.

“And of course, being a Kiwanian, he got the Kiwanis Club involved, too,” added Emily.

The annual Santa Run always takes place on the “day before the day before” — or Dec. 23 — so Kiwanians can spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their own families.

If you would like Santa to deliver a special present to someone special on your Christmas list, just deliver the wrapped gift to the Sanibel Fire & Rescue Station #1 on Palm Ridge Road before 5 p.m. on Dec. 23. Gifts should be placed in a brown paper sack, with delivery instructions clearly marked on the outside of the bag. In addition to the child’s name, the instructions should contain the telephone number of the recipient, as well as the delivery address, and a brief note about the recipient — with information that

perhaps only Santa would know!

For those homes that are difficult to find, or for condominiums, the Kiwanis Club asks that you include detailed directions, or preferably a map.

“But especially, don’t forget to put a phone number,” suggested Emily, who explained that any lost Santa can place a phone call seeking better directions if necessary. Deliveries will be made between 6 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Although the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club engages in this tradition simply to spread good cheer at Christmastime, the Club does accept donations for new Santa suits, as well as cleaning expenses. For more information, please call Dick Muench at 472-2812, or call any Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanian.