PLATTSBURGH - Whether you can carry a tune on your own or you have to carry it in a bucket, the organizers of Santa Night want you.
The annual event will return next Friday, Dec. 10, with amateur carolers visiting local restaurants and bars throughout the city, singing to raise money for The Christmas Bureau, a nonprofit organization which provides toys, clothing and other gifts to low-income families throughout Clinton County for Christmas.
Christopher J. Huchro, a financial advisor with West Bay Financial Group who coordinates Santa Night each year, said pledges are collected in advance by carolers and donations are accepted the night of the event from patrons of the establishments they visit.
"It's the same formula that's worked for us for the last 10 years," said Huchro.
This year's event will aim to raise $40,000 in memory of Frank M. Kennedy, a long-time Santa Night participant and supporter who passed away in March. The goal is $10,000 above what Santa Nighters strived for last year, but Huchro hopes raising the money in Kennedy's memory will motivate people to support a cause Kennedy himself was so dedicated to, he said.
"He was a perennial Santa Nighter and that's why we're dedicating this year's event to him," said Huchro. "I think it's a very lofty goal. I'd love to see us make it, but I don't know. In any event, it's going to be dedicated to his memory."
The Santa Night route this year will again start at the Krazy Horse Saloon on Margaret Street beginning at 5 p.m.
The route will continue with stops at Arnie's, Livingoods, Dry Dock, Geoffrey's Pub, Mickey's Restaurant and Lounge, Anthony's Restaurant and Bistro, Butcher Block, The Ground Round, Meron's, The 4th Ward, Bobby's Lounge, Irises Caf and Wine Bar, The Green Room, Olive Ridley's, and, new this year, Michele's Fine Dining. Transportation will be provided by Ground Force One.
Vicki A. Marking, who oversees recruiting participants for Santa Night, said there is still time for people interested in joining her and her fellow Santa Nighters to collect donations. Those wishing to join them on the bus must collect a minimum of $200 in pledges, with $25 and a letter of commitment needed to reserve a seat in advance.
"Santa Night is the most fun that you will ever have helping the underprivileged children of the North Country," said Marking. "It is a great time for a great cause."
Those interested in participating in Santa Night may contact Marking at 324-9322. For more information, contact Huchro at 569-3725 or 561-9674 or visit the Santa Night Web site at www.santanight.com/ plattsburghny.