Santa Suits on the Loose 2015

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Amanda Sims, race director (l) and Robin Burchfield, Director of Development at SAYS  (r) get ready for the race to start. photo: 2015


It was a Ho-Ho-Ho and a run through the neighborhood of St Augustine Beach last Saturday as close to 600 runners took to the streets to help raise funds for at-risk youth. Dressed in their best Christmas attire, these elves, Santas and Christmas jollies were running for a cause close to their hearts and The St Augustine Youth Services 4th annual “Santa Suits on the Loose 5K Family Run” proved to be a huge success.

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Lisa Wentworth and John Cresap from Boston enjoying the beach. photo 2015

Lisa Wentworth and John Cresap from Boston were traveling through town and decided to join in the fun. This mom and son team were traveling back north from Orlando where Cresap, a senior majoring in Spanish at Dartmouth College, was training for the rowing crew. “I grabbed a brochure and saw the race was happening,” said Wentworth dressed from head to toe as Santa. “We woke up at 6AM and came on down.” Both runners do cross fit and train with cross fit guru, Spencer Hendel. Wentwort could hardly contain her excitement to run side by side with her son in St Augustine Beach.

Amanda Sims, Race Director was on hand to make sure things ran smoothly. The St Augustine Youth Services (SAYS) is a nonprofit organization that does the job that many can not do. St Augustine Youth Services has been providing care, shelter and therapeutic treatment to children at-risk for years. With a newly built campus on US 1, SAYS is able to provide their services to more of those most at need.

“100% of the race proceeds go to St Augustine Youth Service,” explained Sims who is also employed at St Augustine Ocean and Racquet Resort at the beach. “This is our 4th year putting on this run and with the Santa suits it really puts everyone in the Christmas spirit.”

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DJ Bill Jones making sure there is music in the air. photo: 2015

DJ-Bill Jones was filling the air with Christmas music for all to enjoy. With a grin from ear to ear and a red Santa hat tilted on his head, Jones was making sure everyone would get in the spirit of the season.

As the sun rose above the breakers, casting a rosy glow in the sky, families of all ages and abilities came out in droves to support the kids of SAYS. Children in strollers, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, boys and girls and even dogs dressed like Rudolph were ready to begin the run and express their support for all families. This is the time of year when a lack of family support is most notices no matter what your age. It is with the support of SAYS that every child feels safe and is able to have a Christmas.

“This is such a great cause to support,” said Sims as she finished hanging the race banner at the pier with Robin Burchfield, Director of Development at St. Augustine Youth Services. Many will agree. It will never be more apparent than on Christmas morning when the kids at SAYS wipe the sleep from their eyes and head to the tree to find a special present from Santa and all his running elves!

To See More Visit: SANTA SUITS RUN PHOTOS  Or Visit St Augustine Youth Services  WEB SITE