iReporter
 
Lauren McCormick – Guest Contributor
Nov 21 @ 13:20
Pin on Pinterest

My Possibilities, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is holding its sixth annual Santa Run Texas. This 5K Fun Run and 1-Mile Walk is a family and pet-friendly event that allows participants to dress up in a five-piece Santa suit (included with your registration). Santa Run Texas will be held at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group Headquarters. Come join us for the premier holiday festival of the season! One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go back to the programs at My Possibilities. As a pioneering leader in vocational education for adults with cognitive disabilities, MP provides instruction for independent living skills, culinary skills, creative expression, health and wellness, as well as a variety of other enrichment programs, all of which are designed to stimulate the cognitive and creative abilities of their clients, lovingly referred to as HIPsters – Hugely Important People.

The first Santa-themed running event in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Santa Run Texas has become a holiday tradition for those interested in helping adults with special needs and underprivileged children.  This community-based event is a great way to bring friends, families, businesses and social groups together to celebrate the season while helping raise money to provide advanced educational opportunities for special needs adults.  This year, My Possibilities and their students, lovingly referred to as HIPsters (Hugely Important People), have set a goal of attracting more than 3,000 Santas to participate in the outdoor event.  And most importantly, 100 percent of the proceeds from this fundraiser are used to benefit the organization.  

Both the 5K Fun Run and 1-Mile Walk are presented by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 8 a.m. to noon at the company’s headquarters located at 5301 Legacy Drive in Plano. Park Place Jaguar Plano is bringing out two sleighs – luxury convertibles for Santa and his entourage of North Texas-based dignitaries – to lead the procession of Santas to the starting line. 

A number of other sponsors have signed on to support Santa Run Texas.  Sponsors include 105.3 The Fan, Bank of Texas, EliteCare, Frost Bank, Luke’s Locker, Novoworks, Voom Group, Whole Foods Market, in addition to many others. My Possibilities has also teamed up with Holiday Warehouse to deck out the entire event space in holiday decorations that will make “Vendors Village” a true winter wonderland. There will be plenty of great places to make holiday photos, for example in a life-sized snow globe!

A new and exciting addition is being made this year to the event. Nearly all of the team mascots from the DFW area will be joining for an epic dance-off sponsored by Title Boxing Club. The Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Legends, Frisco Roughriders, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s mascots will all be coming together to participate.

“Last year, we raised over $106,000 which helped fund many of My Possibilities educational programs. With more than 200,000 special needs adults living in North Texas, high-quality programs are almost non-existent,” said Charmaine Solomon, founder and Chairman of the Board at My Possibilities. “Proceeds from this fundraiser go directly towards the ongoing operations of My Possibilities so that we can continue to help this large and growing population.” 

More than a running event, Santa Run Texas is a holiday happening that provides entertainment for people and pets of all ages. This year, the Jordan Kahn Music Company will provide live music, along with Cory Mageors and Kevin Hageland of 105.3 The Fan as the day's emcees. There will also be a designated area called “Santa’s Playland” that will include plenty of other amusements for children, including the world’s largest snowman bounce-house. An “official” Santa Claus is on hand to hear children’s wish lists, and other family-friendly entertainment includes a balloon artist and face-painter. For adults with a sense of humor, a Jimmy Kimmel-featured “The Original Butt Sketch®” will also be on hand to create one-of-a kind art to entertain the crowd! 

In addition to the recognition given to the winning runners, a number of other awards and prizes will be handed out following the run and walk events. The Best-Dressed Pet, Best-Dressed Santa, Best Sleigh, Largest Team and other prizes will be handed out to the Santa Run Texas participants in these and other categories.  So, get creative, and start customizing holiday costumes and sleds of all kinds from red wagons or strollers to wheelchairs.

No celebration would be complete without food and refreshments.  Food vendors will be handing out finger-licking favorites, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group will provide complimentary water and other cold drinks. Dunkin Donuts will keep everyone warm with free coffee and hot cocoa.

To help other North Texas families, all festival participants are requested to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event for the HIPster’s annual Toys for Tots drive.  Following Santa Run Texas, U.S. Marines will collect and distribute toys to underprivileged children throughout the Metroplex.

For additional information on Santa Run Texas, contact Jana Pugh, Special Events Manager by phone at 469-241-9100 or email at events@mptx.org. For information about My Possibilities, contact Jeanine Alpert, Director of Community Engagement at jdalpert@mptx.org. More information is also available on the website at www.SantaRunTexas.org or www.MyPossibilities.org.