Santas run through streets of Old Rīga for charity

More than 200 people dressed as Santa Claus ran or walked through the streets of Rīga’s Old Town on Dec. 14 to raise money for a mobile medical center for children.

The Santas Fun Run & Walk was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Rīga International to raise funds to help bring a Ronald McDonald House Charity Care Mobile to Latvia.

The mobile center, estimated to cost more than EUR 400,000, would provide free care for children in Latvia’s rural areas. It would be the 32nd of its kind in the world and the second in Europe, according to the Web site of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Latvija. The center is expected to begin operation in March.

Latvians Online readers and staff also participated in the event. The Web site’s technical director, Arnis Gross, suited up for the event as did reader Vanda Dauksts, who has relocated from Chicago to her new home in Rīga.

Thirty-five readers helped out with online donations totaling USD 1,818.

Santas run

Vanda Dauksts and Latvians Online Technical Director Arnis Gross, along with his children Laila and Olivers, pose for a photograph during the Dec. 14 Santas Fun Run & Walk in Rīga.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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