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Here comes Santa Claus

Santa Claus arrived at Keatington Saturday to carry on his annual tradition in partnership with Orion Township firefighters. Photos by Laura Colvin (click for larger version)
December 16, 2009 - The kids of Keatington were literally jumping for joy as Santa came into view Saturday, and as far as anyone can remember, it's been the same every year since 1967 or so.

Along with the elves, Santa gets a hand from the Orion Township firefighters and Keatington neighbors, and together they collect toys, clothing, food and cash for local charities.

"We were very successful this year," said Keatington resident Al Carnes, who walked alongside Santa and the elves, helping pick up donations all day. "We collected more cash than last year, and did well with the food, clothing and toys, too."

Carnes and his family have been coordinating the event for the past several years, getting fliers printed, passing them out and hosting several meals at their home the day Santa arrives.

Keatington resident Al Parker got involved with the project way back in the beginning.

"We used to just pile everything on top of the fire truck," he said. "The guys always said 'One of these days we're going to get a call. And they did.'"

Everything they collected that year was quickly deposited on the curb so the firefighters could rush off. After that, the group got a trailer, which now follows behind the fire truck.

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