Operation Santa volunteers were busy during the 43rd annual Huckleberry Festival.
The day began with a float adorned with the pictures of the 13 out of 49 local service people now serving or deployed to Iraq and Europe. Recruiters representing all branches of military forces along with volunteers road the float in support of the local service people.
In the northeast corner of the park, a red, white and blue booth was surrounded by children and adults donating to the troops. Volunteers hustled to keep up with the overflow of donations and support given to the troops.
The event raised over $500 -- all proceeds will be used for shipping or contents of Christmas boxes.
"The generosity and support of the communities has been wonderful, tear jerking at times. But remember, none of this could be accomplished without the hard work of all the volunteers and of course the support of the communities," said Mrs. Claus.
Operation Santa fundraisers continue with a flea market on Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. And, an all you can eat breakfast buffet on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both events are being held at the Bingen Eagles.