For the next three days, the Bloomingburg-Paint-Marion (BPM) Joint Fire District fire house will be transformed into “Santa Land,” a fundraising store sponsored by Hays Towing and Hays Tire & Auto.
“We were looking for fundraisers for the fire department so we could help buy equipment, uniforms, anything like that they would need,” BPM Wives Auxiliary member and event organizer Connie Fabin said. “I had done this Santa Land prior when my husband was in the military to help raise some funds. So I brought the idea up to them and they were accepting. We started to ask for donations right away.”
Fabin said this is not the first time they have held an event like this in Bloomingburg, though it has been a few years. Santa Land will only be available for this weekend and organizers welcome “kids of all ages” — this includes kids at heart, according to Fabin — to do their Christmas shopping at a reasonable price.
“When we did it in the past the idea was that the event was put on so the kids could come, but the first year we did it we had some elderly residents from around here ask if they could come in and shop,” Fabin said. “We decided to open it up to everybody after that.”
Shopping will open beginning at 4 p.m. this evening and will last until 7 p.m. On Saturday, Santa Land will start at 10 a.m. and remain open throughout the day until 5 p.m. Finally, Sunday will close out the weekend of shopping from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. New for this year’s event will be a visit from Santa Claus on both Saturday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 1 p.m.
“The kids can come up — everyone has cell phones anymore so parents can take photos with Santa — and sit with Santa,” Fabin said. “Of course he is going to listen to their requests for Christmas and he will have candy canes to pass out. The store has everything you could think of that has been donated. We have clothes, kids’ toys, women’s makeup, men’s items, we have pizzas, things from Dairy Queen. We have stuff being sold from 10 cents and nothing over 10 dollars.”
Fabin thanked a multitude of people on Thursday, including volunteers for the event. The volunteers consist of mostly wives and family members of firefighters, with each offering their time this weekend to help. Additionally, she thanked the community for donating items for the shop and for supporting the event.
“We do want to thank everyone who donated because this isn’t just a Bloomingburg thing, this is for Washington Court House and the surrounding areas,” Fabin said. “I would like to thank them all for their help because it does take their support to make this a success.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.