Santa Clauses are coming to town to participate in the 10th anniversary of the Las Vegas Great Santa Run benefitting Opportunity Village on Saturday, December 6. One of the largest gatherings of Santa-clad runners will take place in Downtown Las Vegas, beginning at Fremont Street Experience and spanning across popular downtown venues.
The Great Santa Run raises funds and awareness for Opportunity Village’s programs, which provide unparalleled opportunities, enrichment and support to nearly 3,000 citizens with disabilities and their families throughout the Las Vegas Valley. It has been the reigning champion of the World Santa Challenge for three consecutive years and hopes to uphold that tradition in 2014.
This year not only marks the notable anniversary of this iconic event, but also the 60th anniversary of Opportunity Village, the beloved Las Vegas non-profit. To celebrate, Opportunity Village will raise $136 million, which was kicked off with a $10 million donation in May by Dorothy and Lacy Harber in addition to a $35 million challenge gift from the Engelstad Family Foundation, which will be donated as a match gift once Opportunity Village reaches its fundraising goal. These donations will be used to expand Opportunity Village and fulfill three initiatives, including the development of its first residential village at the Engelstad campus, followed by a new campus and residential village in the northwest valley.
“We have built a family and a home for our clients and we are blessed to have the great support of our Las Vegas community and beyond,” said Linda Smith, Associate Executive Director of Opportunity Village. “Celebrating 10 years of the Great Santa Run and 60 years of Opportunity Village is humbling. There is no better way to celebrate the most wonderful time of year than by giving back.”
Last year, more than 11,000 Santas were joined by international superstar Grand Marshal Shania Twain. After a morning of festivities including live entertainment and a costume contest, Mayor Carolyn Goodman declared the day the official Las Vegas Great Santa Run Day.
Opportunity Village has opened an early bird discount for any Saint Nicks who register for the 5K run or one-mile Kris Kringle Jingle walk. The early bird discount is available now through August 31 and is priced at $40 for individuals; $35 per person on a team of five or more; and $25 for children under 17-years-old. Registration includes a five piece Santa suit and a runner goody bag from event sponsors. Participants are also encouraged to bring their canine companions, who can join in on the fun for $10 and receive a doggie bag full of treats and toys. Registration is available on the Great Santa Run website.