If you think this is a story about Santa’s house, you are wrong. That happens to be about 500 miles to the North, as the raven flies. This is about how officers that live and work in the remote Alaskan town of Yakutat brought their community together to enjoy the Christmas season.
“Everyone was cancelling the events,” said Supervisory TSA Officer Kristin Campanella. “Christmas events at school were cancelled; everyone one was shutting down, cancelling all events and no replacement events. How can there not be Santa for Christmas?”
So, with less than 30 days since their socially distanced drive by trick or treat Halloween event, the team from Yakutat Airport (YAK) led the way.
Everyone one knew the drill; their roles and what they could provide to bring Christmas to the community
The local police department with their lights flashing and safety cones out, directed traffic at the Public Safety building where young and old alike met Santa strategically placed on top of the YAK fire engine. With strains of popular Christmas songs piped through the ambulance speakers and Santa waving, Christmas was happening in this sleepy little Alaskan town.
“It was heartwarming to see the excitement and joy on the kid’s faces when they drove up,” said TSA Officer Chantil Bremner-Firestack. “It was especially nice to do something for the kids during the pandemic.”
“Everyone got something,” said Campanella. “There were dog treats, goodie bags, reindeer food sprinkled on the lawn for the reindeer to find each house and wrapped toys from the Alaska Commercial Company.
“We enjoyed supporting the community,” said officers Ruth and Jerry Dedloff.
“It was such an overall awesome experience to be with my kids as they saw Santa in town,” said Alaska Airlines customer service agent,” Rose Fraker. “I surprised them. When we turned the corner, one of my girls saw the lights of the police cars. Then another saw the lights on the ambulance. My third daughter screamed SANTA! The whole experience was really cool with the lights and sirens! Thank you for doing this.”
“One little girl pulled her mask down in the car to show Santa that she lost three teeth,” said Campanella. “Yakutat Fire and Rescue, police officers and the TSA Officers might have had more fun than the kids!”
Watch the fun in this short video.
By Wayne Carey, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs