Second Santa 5K Run/Walk set

Most people believe Santa would do anything for children.

Members of the Columbus Meridian Kiwanis Club certainly believe so. That’s why some of them donned Santa gear last year for the club’s inaugural Santa 5K Walk/Run to benefit Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

About 60 participants last year raised $800 for the cause, said Rick Siefert, the club’s immediate past president.

The second annual fundraiser unfolds at 10 a.m. Saturday with a start and finish at First United Methodist Church at 618 Eighth St. in Columbus. Registration begins at 9 a.m. onsite but also is available at

“We haven’t really set an actual goal,” Siefert said regarding planning for this year’s event. “We just have been saying the more, the merrier.”

Kiwanians originally were inspired to launch the event after hearing of a Chicago area Santa-style run that annually attracts 1,500 participants.

Entry fee for the local fundraiser is $10, or $20 for those wanting to participate in a partial Santa suit that includes a hat, jacket and belt and pants.

Just as last year, all participants are invited to bring their own holiday garb to wear while they run or walk.

“They don’t need to have a Santa suit,” Siefert said. “They can come in their antlers and red noses.”

White River Running Co. is partnering with the club for the event.

The local Kiwanis club raises money for a range of causes, including youth-oriented projects.