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Kids rise early to Shop With a Hero

NUPD officer Tara Martin and Brown County Sheriff Deputy MaKenna Huemann help Trinity Johnson find a Christmas present for her sister.

NEW ULM — It was before sunrise Saturday morning, but a group of ten children eagerly awaited the arrival of Santa at the Running Store in New Ulm as part of the annual “Shop With a Hero” program.

Members of the New Ulm Police Department, Fire Department, Allina Ambulance, Brown County Sheriff’s Department and Minnesota State Patrol waited with the children. At 7:30 a.m. the bright flashes and loud siren from a New Ulm Fire Department truck signal the arrival of St. NIck.

New Ulm Police Officer Aaron Widmark greeted Santa at the front door, followed by several excited children.

Santa said the children had been especially good this year. This year the kids are asking him for LOL Dolls, American Girl Dolls, Switch-A-Rooz reversible plush animals and Legos. Santa emphasized that all kids like Legos or any art supplies that allowed them to be creative.

Santa gave out several stockings full of goodies to the children attending the program. This included a $120 gift card to the Wow Zone in Mankato.

McLaren Carbert meets with Santa during the Shop with Hero event at Runnings.

The event was coordinated by Officer Widmark and his wife Leah. Widmark said it was rewarding to do this work and give kids in need a fun holiday.

After handing out the stocking stuffers, each of the kids went was able to do some holiday shopping with the help of local law police, firefighters and ambulance service.

Trinity Johnson was able to find a Christmas present for her sister with the help of NUPD officer Tara Martin and Brown County Sheriff Deputy MaKenna Huemann.

After completing their shopping, the local heroes even helped with wrapping the gifts. Runnings employees also assisted in the holiday fun. Many were dressed in their finest Christmas apparel. The Shop with a Hero program has been held at Runnings for the last five years and it is one of its most exciting days out of the year.

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