Hundreds of Santas hit the Strand on Saturday morning at the California Great Santa Stroll fundraiser.
The California Great Santa Stroll is a 5K fun run, walk, or stroll
along the Strand from the Hermosa Beach Pier to Manhattan Beach and
back. The event benefits Mychal’s Learning Place, a local nonprofit
supporting youth and young adults with developmental disabilities on
their path to lead a more independent life.
Saturday's crowd included both two-legged and four-legged Santas, elves, Grinches, and even a miniature pony.
On hand to provide excitement and warmups at the event were the L.A. mascot Bailey and the L.A. Kings Ice Crew, L.A. Rams cheerleaders, the Kinecta ice cream truck, fitness guru Angela Bennett, and the real Santa himself (on the Manhattan Beach Santa Float
Mychal's students also joined together on stage to lead the crowd in a Christmas carol.
"Our philosophy is different at Mychal's; we don't believe in the labels, we don't believe in putting the label on anybody. We believe that we're all individuals first, and it's our job and responsibility to provide quality programs to our students so they can have the quality of life that we all get to have," Ed Lynch, executive director of Mychal's, told the crowd. "We can't do the work without your support, so please know that your contributions to this event today will help provide programs and activities for our students."
Mychal's Executive Director Ed Lynch greets the crowd with Bailey.
The top three teams to raise funds were Rockin' Around the Strand, Team Air New Zealand, and Team Turkmany.
The top individual fundraisers were J.J. Turkmany, Shauna Valenzuela, and Tracey Ells O'Banion.