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Santas run wild as Santa Paws 5k raises money for Guide Dogs of the Desert

Santas were running wild through the streets of Palm Springs on Saturday.

People came from far and wide to support Guide Dogs of the Desert in the annual Santa Paws 5K walk and run.

People in the Santa spirit gathered to run, walk, or stroll 5k- or 3.1 miles through scenic Vista Las Palmas and Old Las Palmas neighborhoods. They got some exercise and were raising money for Guide Dogs of the Desert. 

Evan Brosowsky and his family are from Wonder Valley.

"We're really excited," Brosowsky said. "It's a great event that we can take our dogs. Actually, this has been something that I've been really happy to do and take these guys out, you know," he added.

Valorie Arnold of Murrietta said, "This is our second time. We live in Marietta and we come all the way out here so we can bring our dog because she loves to participate and holiday events." 

The stroller-friendly, and dog-friendly 5k event raises money for Guide Dogs of the Desert, which is a local non-profit organization working to give independence to people who have visual problems or are blind.

Volunteers train dogs, who are then paired with a person who needs one at the Guide Dogs facility near Desert Hot Springs.

Santa Paws Organizer Molly Thorpe said, "They stay there and live there for a month. And during that time, they're trained with a guide down so that they can go home and be independent."

There were winners, and people who just walked for fun and to help the cause.

A crowd favorite-- the Elf Dash sees kids running for prizes as well. There were a lot of smiles as snow fell at the finish line.

Mark your calendar. The Superhero Be a Hero 5k is on February 3rd in Rancho Mirage to raise money for the Betty Ford Children's Center and the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center.

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Jeff Stahl

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