BURKBURNETT (KFDX/KJTL) — The Burkburnett Volunteer Fire Department alongside bikers from Wichita County and surrounding areas are on a mission to make sure every child has a joyful holiday.
Around 75 bikers rolled out of Burkburnett Sunday for the annual Operation Santa Claus Fun Run.
The VFD and a group of Troop 600 scouts provided a send-off fit for Santa Claus.
They made a few stops along the way before winding up at Stick’s Pace on Sheppard Access Road to continue raising money to buy toys for children.
“Remember it’s for the kids, that’s what we’re raising money for,” the Operation Santa Claus Fun Run auctioneer said before starting an auction to raise funds.
The group of Santas is swapping the sleigh for their motorcycles.
“It is to make some of the children in Burkburnett have a brighter Christmas, some of them are not as fortunate as we are, so we all pull together, the biker community, the regular community and we do this every year for them just to give them a brighter Christmas,” Operation Santa Claus Fun Run organizer Vici Tarr said.
Braving the cold and wind to make sure children in Burkburnett, who otherwise wouldn’t, receive gifts this year.
The Burkburnett VFD has been apart of this operation for more than 15 years.
“Anywhere over 300 children in our response area that we take care of and it seems to just grow every year,” Burkburnett VFD Fire Chief Rodney Ryalls said.
Once the fun run was over it was off to Stick’s Place for some warm food and the live auction.
All funds raised are handed over to the fire department to shop with.
“People pay way more than they should for things they don’t need and then we hand the money over to the Burk Fire Department at the end of the day,” Tarr said.
This is just the beginning, Chief Ryalls said the best part is finally spending the money and handing toys over to the kiddos.
“We do it as a family, we have all of our families join us and we do have the motorcycles groups as well,” Ryalls said. “Basically we go out and we’ll split into four routes and we send a fire truck out with people out and a trailer and basically make our deliveries and it’s just a good feeling for everybody that day.”
An operation that takes all hands on deck to complete, but a mission this group has a jolly good time doing.
The fire department actually shops through the year for this, but they’re planning to finish the job soon.
Then they’ll package the gifts up, prepare their routes and deliver the Saturday before Christmas.