PHOENIX - Thousands of Arizona families will have a better Christmas thanks to the 11th annual ABC15 Operation Santa Claus in partnership with Sanderson Ford.
The drive officially ended today with the annual "Human Chain" of volunteers which packs the charity trucks with the donations. The chain started at the top of the stairs leading all the way out to the parking lot at the ABC15 studios. Clear Channel Radio played music and participated in the chain. Sanderson Ford and Lincoln owner David Kimmerle officially started the festivities which began the movement of toys.
From November 16 through December 20 donations were raised of money, non-perishable food, new toys and children's clothing. Donations were collected at Sanderson Ford, Sanderson Lincoln, ABC15 Studios and the UPS Store Valley wide.
All donations benefit: MAM (Military Assistance Mission), Phoenix Children's Hospital, SARRC (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center) and St. Mary's Food Bank.
Everyone who donated had the opportunity to enter into a 1-in-15 chance of winning a either a new Ford 2013 F-150 Supercrew truck or new 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan. Ashley Augustine from Surprise, Arizona was named the winner today on Sonoran Living Live.
"The holidays are about friends, family and giving thanks," said David and Sue Kimmerle, Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln. "Operation Santa Claus is all of those traditions rolled into one."
"Our viewers' generosity continues to inspire us," said Anita Helt, Vice-President and General Manager at ABC15. "We're humbled to part of a project that helps make Arizona a better place to live."