With just 10 days to go before his big night on Christmas, Santa and Mrs. Claus toured Germantown this morning with his friends from the Montgomery County Police Department. He traded his sleigh and reindeer for a Harley and full police escort to tour the County and spread good cheer as part of the MCPD’s Santa Ride.
Santa, along with Mrs. Claus, and the motor officers will bring gift bags and donations raised by the Montgomery County Police Department to a party for the children whose families are residents at the Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda.
The ride, which has become a yearly tradition, set out this morning in Germantown as Santa his team of motor-elves left District 5 Headquarters on route to their first stop. They rode down Century Boulevard to the Upcounty Regional Services Center on Middlebrook Road where Santa met with a group of little ones.
While the motor officers of the MCPD look forward to this ride every year, today’s ride is extra special after many of the officers escorting Santa had the much more somber duty of escorting the hearse containing their fallen brother Officer Noah Leotta, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this month.
“Coming off of yesterday, hopefully, this will bring up the spirits of the unit and the police department as a whole,” said Lieutenant David McBain, who organizes the event each year. “These guys have been working pretty hard for the last week. They did a lot of long days, but what is good that when I sent the email out that the Santa Ride was still on every single one of them said, ‘we know, and we’ll be there.’ Once we get started, we start having a blast. It shows the commitment that we have for NIH Children’s Inn, and this is something that we would ever put off or delay.”
Montgomery County Police Motor Officers are collecting donations from all six police districts, area businesses, and residents.
After the stop at the Upcounty Regional Services Center, Santa and his escort team mounted up and headed their next stop. They rode up Father Hurley Boulevard to the Wegmans where Santa met with some more little ones.
“We did not expect to see Santa at Wegmans,” said Beth Saltxman, the mother of two-year-old Sunrise and four-year-old Storm Saltxman, two little girls who were just lucky enough to see Santa at Wegmans. “We just came to go the pharmacy, but as soon as we turned the corner they saw him and were really excited to come.”
From Wegmans, Santa and the team continued their tour of the County including a stop in the Kentlands, and a visit to the Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg and other spots throughout the county including Silver Spring, Olney, Bethesda, and Potomac.
Santa’s ride ended the at The Children’s Inn at NIH in Bethesda. Representatives from The Children’s Inn at NIH were riding with the Santa Ride, collecting donations from all six police districts, area businesses, and residents, the donations will go towards purchase gift cards from area stores to assist families who are residing at The Children’s Inn at NIH.
The funds also provide gifts for the children staying at The Children’s Inn at NIH while receiving treatment at NIH. The Children's Inn is a private, nonprofit, family-centered residence for pediatric outpatients at the National Institutes of Health. Its purpose is to keep children together with their families during serious illness, reduce their stress and facilitate the healing process through mutual support. More than 1,500 families came from 50 states and 84 countries to stay at The Inn. Families do not pay to stay at the Inn. The Inn rely solely on private contributions to sustain our operations.
If you wish to join the fun and provide a financial donation online, visit The Children’s Inn website at childrensinn.org.
Top: Santa rides his Harley-Davidson police motorcycle down Great Seneca Highway to the Kentlands as part of the annual MCP Santa Ride to benefit The Children’s Inn at NIH.
Next: Santa is escorted by his motor-elves as they ride down Great Seneca Highway past Northwest High School.
Next: Santa and Mrs. Claus with two-year-old Sunrise Satlxman outside the Wegmans store in Germantown.
Next: Video of Santa and his escort riding down Century Boulevard towards the Upcounty Regional Services Center on Wednesday morning as they began the Santa Ride.
Next: Santa and the kids at the Upcounty Regional Services Center in Germantown
Photos and video by Germantown Pulse