AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Zilker Holiday Tree, now glowing with thousands of lights, is a welcome sight for many as we get into the Christmas season.
The tradition this year is especially significant for Austin Police Department's Operation Blue Santa . They took donations all night to help Austin families during the holiday season.
Joe Munoz with Blue Santa told KXAN, "Really more of our focus is educating the public what Blue Santa is all about, and having that interavtion with the public. If the donations come in tonight that's great, but our focus is just interaction and being able to network more with the public."
Before the 3,309 lights on the 115-foot tall tree were lit up, Blue Santa was at about 40 percent of their goal for donations.
"Had a gentleman walk up to me and hand me a 500 dollar check. that's unusual, but we'll certainly take it! We're so happy that he could do that," said Munoz.
Fundraising for Blue Santa has been happening all weekend. Saturday donations were taken in at the Chuy's Children's Parade . Big help also came from local ad agency GSD&M. The company delivered a 50-thousand dollar check to Blue Santa.
Fundraising will continue all month. Bins are set up at all fire houses in Austin to collect toys and presents. Dec. 7 fundraising will continue. KOKE-FM is hosting a breakfast at Shoal Crossing Event Center.
The Zilker Holiday Tree will be lit every night from now until Dec. 31.
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