The members of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad want to thank the residents of the borough for supporting the annual Santa Runs and donating food along the way.

Over the course of four nights, the men and women of the all-volunteer emergency medical and rescue organization helped bring Santa and his sleigh to virtually every part of Atlantic Highlands.

In return, residents opened their kitchen cabinets and donated bags of food, which will be delivered to the Atlantic Highlands Food Pantry.

“Events like this are what makes Atlantic Highlands special,” said AHFAS chief Richard Huff. “Each night was filled with moments of kids darting out of their homes in their pajamas, parents snapping pictures, and loads of smiles. It's a great way to celebrate the holidays in town.”

Block by block, avenue by avenue, Santa moved slowly through town, stopping to meet and greet anyone who peered out of a window or stood on the curb. Some families handed pets their pets to Santa so they could shoot keepsake pictures.

This year, the squad also launched a website tracking component, updated each day by 1st Lieutenant Tom Hayden, allowing residents to see where Santa was headed that evening.

Helping out each night were also members of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad Cadets program, which is a wing of the organization for those between the ages of 14 and 18.

“I am proud of the AHFAS members who dedicated their free time to this worthy cause,” said Huff. “Many gave up four nights of their time to make sure Santa successfully made his rounds. The cadet members also were invaluable in making this process run smoothly. And squad treasurer Walter Curry along with borough councilmen Roy Dellosso and Lou Fligor helped make the event special.”

The AHFAS is an all-volunteer organization that operates solely on donations from the borough and the community. Becoming a member is easy and training is provided free. Information about the squad can be found at www.ahfirstaid.org.

“The Santa Runs map was a hit,” said Huff. “Tom Hayden implemented graphic elements that made web site even more useful for residents this week and easy to follow. Add in the generous amount of food we collected and the Santa Runs 2010 were a super success. We’re already planning for next year.”

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