Christmas in the Park

TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley”

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December 2  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino
Santa Run shirt 2015

2015 TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley” race shirt

Here’s food for thought . . . When a door is closed, a window might be open.

Five years ago, the Governor and state Legislature took away “Redevelopment Agencies” from local jurisdictions, including cities like San Jose.

Right or wrong, this state action almost cratered two of Silicon Valley’s most time-honored, holiday celebrations: Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice.

In the 6-week run of Christmas in the Park, 500,000 people pour downtown to enjoy the displays, rides, ice skating or hot chocolate that goes with our crisp yet clear winter nights. To benefit the on-going success of Christmas in the park and Downtown Ice, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, member company TiVo and Mayor Sam Liccardo stepped forward to build additional revenue while building a fun new tradition for the community – with our TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley,” on Sunday afternoon, December 13.

You have never truly smiled until you have witnessed nearly 4,500 people dressed up like Santa Claus, running or walking a 5-k, as they chase “the Grinch” – our own County Assessor Larry Stone – in a ZipCar through downtown San Jose. With a finish line decked out with a snow machine, each “Santa” is greeted at Christmas in the Park with the same warmth Saint Nick receives when coming down the chimney – with milk and cookies appropriate for his arrival.

Fun aside, “Santa Run Silicon Valley” further ensures that each of us, as members of this community, support and strengthen holiday favorites like Christmas in the Park. Join us. Let’s show our state that when they remove government agencies that help fund key programs in our local communities, that we can rally – year after year – to keep this season of giving fun and festive for tens of thousands of families.

When the doors close, check the windows. Or do what Santa does and come down the chimney.

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A Cause for Claus

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December 3  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

CG_SL_SWHere’s food for thought . . . “A cause for Claus.” Santa Claus, that is.

Four years ago, Governor Brown and the CA Legislature dissolved redevelopment agencies. Right or wrong, the loss of that local funding source placed at peril amazing community initiatives like the popular “Christmas in the Park” celebration and “Downtown Ice” in San Jose, which runs from Thanksgiving past New Year every year. Christmas in the Park is cherished by residents throughout our region, with more than 500,000 people enjoying this wonderful tradition with their families.

Enter Mayor Chuck Reed and downtown city Councilman Sam Liccardo, now the Mayor-Elect. Seeking help from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, we secured support from business leaders to save Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. To establish a longer-term funding source, we launched the TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley” three years ago, a family-friendly 5K run or walk through downtown San Jose ending at Christmas in the Park.

Now picture this . . . 5,000 people, all dressed like Santa Claus, running and walking to fund Christmas in the Park. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, as you cross a “snow machine” finish line greeted by milk and cookies; the reward of Santas everywhere as they come down the chimney.

Join us – let’s strengthen Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice, build community and benefit the needy – all with three miles of festive smiles. Register today at SantaRunSV.com. For a small additional fee we’ll include a 5-piece Santa suit.

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