SBM Fire Department’s food drive parades successful

The Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View (SBM) Fire Department brought its firefighters and Santa Claus to four parade routes between Monday, and Thursday to collect donations for the food shelf during a family-fun event.

Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View (SBM) firefighters handed out candy canes and collected donations for the food shelf during the four evening parades between Monday and Thursday. Almost all the firefighters were able to volunteer for the parades. Photo by Bill Jones

Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View (SBM) firefighters handed out candy canes and collected donations for the food shelf during the four evening parades between Monday and Thursday. Almost all the firefighters were able to volunteer for the parades. Photo by Bill Jones

Dan Retka, battalion chief, said on Tuesday before this edition went to press that Monday night’s parade in western Blaine was a success.

“The turnout was drastically better than last year,” Retka said. “People are starting to catch up on the way we do (the parade).”

Instead of driving down multiple streets throughout the three communities, the fire department starting last year notified residents of four specific routes it would go on to make it easier for people to find the parade so they can donate to the food shelf and see Santa and fire trucks.

The parade was in western Blaine on Monday, eastern Blaine on Tuesday, Mounds View on Wednesday and Spring Lake Park on Thursday.

Retka said people were lining the streets along the route Monday. Others drove to certain points along the route to give non-perishable food items to the firefighters collecting for the food shelf as they went by.

Santa Claus waves from his sleigh. Volunteer SBM firefighter Jeff Frahm led efforts to build Santa a sleigh and reindeer to add to the holiday ambience of this food drive parade. Frahm had help from other firefighters and students at Blaine and Spring Lake Park high schools in building this. The Blaine Lowe’s store donated material. Photo by Bill Jones

Santa Claus waves from his sleigh. Volunteer SBM firefighter Jeff Frahm led efforts to build Santa a sleigh and reindeer to add to the holiday ambience of this food drive parade. Frahm had help from other firefighters and students at Blaine and Spring Lake Park high schools in building this. The Blaine Lowe’s store donated material. Photo by Bill Jones

Almost all volunteer firefighters were able to walk in the parades and all fire trucks were on display.

Food donations were up considerably from last year. The fire department brought two Chevy Suburban SUVs full of food to the food shelf Tuesday and delivered items every day, according to Retka.

Firefighters and Santa Claus also visited senior citizens and collected food donations from them this past week, he said.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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