Could you spend thousands of dollars in just a few minutes? On December 13, the Austin Police Department and Austin Fire Department chiefs were at a local Sam's Club to do just that and thousands of children stand to benefit.
APD Interim Chief Brian Manley and Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr divided up the aisles and mapped out a plan for the annual RetailMeNot shopping spree. Their challenge was to gather $15,000 worth of items in two minutes.
For Manley he said the right footwear is key. "I made a rookie mistake last year in that I wore my dress shoes and they don't hold the ground real well when you're trying to run so this year I have transitioned into my running shoes and hope to have a better performance."
With the correct shoes on, Manley and Kerr put on their game faces as well and raced around the store to pile as many items as they could onto carts. Everything they grab will be auctioned off in January to raise money for the Blue Santa Program for 2017.
Operation Blue Santa's Ben Ornelas says,"It raises every year between $65,000 to $70,000 which is a considerable amount considering we have to raise 105,000 thousand toys for children."
This Christmas the Blue Santa Program will provide food and toys to more than 6,000 families. That equates to about 20,000 children.