A group of realtors will join Santa Claus on three nights next week to collect donations for the Friends In Need Food Bank.
Over the past five years, staff at Coldwell Banker Tri-Tel Realty in Maple Ridge have collected more than four tons of food and $6,800-plus for the local food bank.
The original idea came from realtor Terry Passley six years ago, and the staff all jumped on board.
Passley's father is a retired builder and he's in charge of getting the float ready for the three nights.
The float is built to look like a sleigh and Santa Claus rides in it while 10 to 15 realtors come out on each of the three nights and go from door to door collecting food and donations.
Before going out, the realtors hand out flyers to the houses in the three neighbourhoods they target so they are forewarned that the float is coming around.
"Each year we go to the same three neighbourhoods and now they have begun to expect us," said Vicki Cunningham, a realtor with the Ralph Telep team.
Ralph and Bonnie Telep paid for making the float, and the trailer they use is donated. Passley drives his truck to pull Santa and his sleigh.
"Even though we've had some cold and wet nights, none of us complain," Cunningham said. "It's something that has come to define our office and we use the three nights as a kickoff to our Christmas cheer."
The realtors will be collecting for the Friends In Need around Riverside Centre (formerly Riverside Elementary) on Monday, Dec. 10, around Alouette Elementary on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and in the neighbourhood around Harry Hooge Elementary on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Each night they'll go from 6 to 8 p.m.
For more information on the Friends In Need Food Bank, go to www.friendsneedfood.com.