Santa Claus is running to town

SANTA Claus is coming to town once more for a popular festive fundraiser – but this time it will all be virtual due to Covid-19.

Saddleworth Round Table is determined its Santa Dash will still go ahead this year in some form to raise money for local causes, despite the pandemic.

So, members decided to make the event virtual so participants across Saddleworth can still enjoy the occasion as well as raise money for Oldham Foodbank.John Arthurs, chairman of Saddleworth Round Table, explained: “We couldn’t let Covid-19 completely spoil Santa Dash 2020. So, for one year and one year only (hopefully!) we will be doing a virtual event.

“The virtual Santa Dash will run over a week from November 28 to December 5. We’re asking people to sign up and then take on their own 2km or 5km Santa Dash during the week and create your own routes to stop any crowds forming on the usual route.

“We would love for some of your routes to take in the sights of Saddleworth, such as Pots and Pans or Dovestones. Please share your pictures and videos from your run on our Facebook page.”

Adults can sign up for £5+booking fee and will receive a suit and a medal. Children can sign up for £3+booking fee and will receive a hat and a medal.

Santa Dash at pots and pans

Only the first 500 participants will receive a medal but Round Table hopes more people than that will sign up and support the charity event.

The 2019 event raised more than £10,000 for charities as 1,500 Santas of all ages filled the streets in a flood of festive red.

Among the runners this year’s event – the sixth of its kind – will be John as well as other members of Saddleworth Round Table.

All the money raised will be donated to Oldham Foodbank, which provides emergency food supplies to people in crisis but relies on donations and volunteering from the community.

John explained: “We chose to support OIdham Foodbank as one of our members volunteers for them and he has seen the rise in the need of the service during these unusual times.

“We have tried to keep the cost down so if you can spare any extra please look out for the donate options in the ticket section. You can also donate without doing a run.”

Saddleworth Round Table has already supported Oldham Foodbank this year by collecting donations at three drop-off events in Greenfield, with their latest in October.

John said: “A huge thank you to everyone who braved the weather to come and donate to Oldham Foodbank.

“This is the third time we have held a drop off and each time we have been overwhelmed with the generosity shown from our community.

“Special thanks to Tesco for donating the in store collection and to All Breeds dog training in Greenfield who provided the perfect place to hold a socially distanced drop off point.”

Oldham Foodbank donates emergency food supplies to people in crisis. Find out more on their website: oldham.foodbank.org.uk

To find out more or sign up for the Virtual Santa Dash, go to EventBrite: https://tinyurl.com/y5e5fguj

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