Area police and fire officials host Santa and provide free shopping trips to children for Christmas

On Saturday, elementary school children in Horry County’s Police Department’s jurisdiction were treated to a shopping trip at Wal-Mart, food and other fun activities, Sgt. Robert Kegler said. The children are given money and partnered with a police officer during their shopping trip for Christmas.

Similar events were hosted by police departments in Georgetown County, North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach a week ago, officials in those respective areas said. Most of the food and gift cards used for the shopping trips are donated by local businesses.

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office took 36 children accompanied by 40 deputies to breakfast and then Wal-Mart for a shopping trip before lunch at the sheriff’s office, said Carrie Cuthbertson, public information officer.

Myrtle Beach police took 33 children shopping Dec. 8 as part of their shop with a cop program for Christmas, Lt. John Bertang said.

North Myrtle Beach police also hosted their program on Dec. 8 and took 26 children to lunch and then Wal-Mart for shopping, said Pat Dowling, city spokesman.

Also on Saturday, area fire departments and Conway police were scheduled to host Santa for photos and breakfast.

The holiday fun’s not over yet, though. On Wednesday and Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., Horry County Fire Rescue will host Santa at two of their fire stations in Aynor and Little River, respectively. On Wednesday, the event will be held at Station No. 24 at 650 Ninth Avenue in Aynor, while on Friday Santa will be at the Little River Station No. 2 at 4371 Baker Street in Little River.