Pilot story and photos by Bill Schlichting

Members of the Brookings-Harbor Lions Club and anyone else who wanted to join in donned Santa suits Saturday afternoon on a mission to spread good cheer in the community.

The March of the Santas event itself was not a fundraiser, but a andquot;fun raiser,andquot; said Tony Parrish - a Lion's Club member who has organized the event during its three-year history.

andquot;It is a way of saying thank you to all the businesses that have helped (the Lions Club) throughout the year,andquot; Parrish said.

The group of Santas, along with two elves, assembled at the Best Western Brookings Inn conference center for lunch before heading along Chetco Avenue to spread good cheer. Along the way, passersby honked and waved, and a few stopped a Santa to have their picture taken.

Santas poked the heads into business to wish the proprietor a merry Christmas. A few business owners offered the Santas a sweet treat.

Zigzagging along Chetco Avenue, the group also made their way up the hill to visit nursing homes. During a stop at Curry Good Samaritan Center, the Santas and residents in the activity room were treated to a concert by The Coastal Tones. The Sweet Adeline quartet presented several Christmas songs.

The Santas continued on their trek to Azalea Park with a stop at the Manley Art Center and a detour over Stout Mountain inside Stout Park.

After nearly three hours of walking and spreading cheer, the Santas arrived at Azalea Park - many admitting they were tired.

Parrish said the event was fun, but perhaps the hardest part of the day was that the Lions members were scheduled to host the Nature's Coastal Holiday light show that evening.

One Lion's Club member working a booth at the show said that as soon as he got home from the Santa march, he sat in his easy chair and fell asleep.

Currently, Parrish is putting together a slide show of the event and is uploading it to YouTube. He said in a few days, people should be able to find the show by searching for March of the Santas on Google.

13342135