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Animal sanctuary west of Kingston hosts outdoor Santa drive-thru

Click to play video: 'Animal sanctuary west of Kingston hosts socially distance drive-thru with Santa' Animal sanctuary west of Kingston hosts socially distance drive-thru with Santa
Santa greets kids and kids at heart during drive-thru experience west of Kingston – Dec 19, 2020

When the Cataraqui Centre in Kingston couldn’t have an indoor Santa due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an animal sanctuary west of the city stepped in to provide people with a drive-thru, socially distance exchange with jolly old Saint Nick.

It seemed the traffic didn’t let up on Saturday, with one vehicle after another made its way past Santa and a handful of his helpers. While Santa greeted people, his animal friends looked on.

“We heard that Cataraqui Centre wasn’t doing an indoor Santa this year, and rightfully so,” said Darren Pruner, president of the Second Chance Ranch.

“We thought we can do something that’s good for the kids to do and still maintain social distancing and keep everybody safe.”

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Saturday marked the third and final day for the event.

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“It seems to be working quiet well, everybody’s six feet away,” Pruner said. “Kids are dropping off their letters to Santa, they get to see Santa and everybody’s just having a good time.”

Houri Portyansky and her husband drove through with their daughter Isabella. She thought it was a great idea and really did fill a need.

“Every year we take Isabella to Santa at the mall and there’s no option like that, and honestly, even if there was, we would not be doing it because we avoid indoor places — so this is just perfect for people like us especially that need an alternative,” Houri said.

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Pruner said any donations the sanctuary received will go to food, noting they put out roughly 7,000 pounds of hay per week.

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