By Godfrey Lee
Santa Claus visited Mill Valley on Wednesday, Dec. 19 and Marin City on Sunday, Dec. 23, to give out presents and made the holiday season more joyous for the children living in Southern Marin.
On Wednesday, Aaron and Tiffany Singer, owners of Seaplane Adventures, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, arrived in their Cessna 172 Seaplane in a kickoff of the 15th Annual Holiday Toy and Gift Drive.
The plane landed on Richardson Bay, and they greeted the excited children who swarmed around him.
The 60 children then formed a line to receive a book and a present from Santa. They young people are members of Performing Stars of Marin, and residents of Marin City and the Canal area of San Rafael.
The Mill Valley Fire Department, Southern Marin Fire District, Marin County Fire Departments, Sausalito Parks and Recreation Department, Bridge the Gap Tutoring, Community Action Marin and Outback Steakhouse sponsored the event.
Aaron Singer came up with the idea of Santa arriving in a seaplane to deliver the presents to the children and worked with Felecia Gaston, director of Performing Stars, to make it happen.
“This is the first time we have done this, and we hope to do it many years to come,” said Singer.
On Sunday, Santa went to the 15th Annual Toy and Gift Drive at the Manzanita Recreation Center. It was raining that morning, and the whole event was held indoors in the gym and on the stage.
But the weather did not dampen the spirits of the children, who were eager to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. About 300 young people were served during the afternoon.
“Keeping tradition is so important in these days and times. We want kids to believe and dream so they can be happy,” said Gaston, who coordinated both events.
Agencies that participated in the event included the California Highway Patrol, City of Mill Valley Fire and Police Departments, Sausalito Parks and Recreation Department, Marin County Fire, Probation and Sheriff’s Departments, Sausalito Lions & Rotary Club, Volunteers in Public Safety, Southern Marin Fire Protection District, Tiburon Fire Department, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Marin Theater Company, Bridge the Gap College Prep, and the Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty.