The BearCat—an acronym for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck—is an armored police tactical vehicle. It's not commonly driven around Montgomery County, so when Santa rides the BearCat from Germantown to Bethesda, he'll be sure to be spotted.
Santa will be escorted on Wednesday by county police officers, according to a police department news release, and Santa and the officers will transport gift bags and donations raised by the police department to a party for children whose families are residents of The Children's Inn at NIH, according to the news release.
"This is a very special night for the children and families at The Inn," Laura King, director of volunteers and community outreach, said in a statement.
"Santa’s visit allows kids to forget about the hospital and their illness—at least for the night," she added.
Santa and the police begin the ride at the 5th District police station in Germantown (20000 Aircraft Dr.) at 10 a.m., and finish up at The Children's Inn (7 West Dr., Bethesda) at around 5:30 p.m., the police department stated.
Here are Santa's slated locations on Wednesday:
- After leaving the 5th District station at 10 a.m., Santa's first stop is at Wegman’s (20600 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown).
- Then, Santa visits Sheehy Ford (901 Frederick Rd., Gaithersburg) to thank the dealership for donations to the annual Santa ride.
- Santa continues to the Rockville and Olney town centers.
- Santa is slated to arrive at the county police department's headquarters in Gaithersburg (45 W. Watkins Mill Rd.) at about 2 p.m.
- Santa stops for lunch at Vince & Dominic's (10474 Auto Park Ave., Bethesda), which will host a luncheon for Santa and the accompanying police officers—something the restaurant has done for several years.
- After lunch, Santa continues to the Silver Spring town center and to Bethesda Triangle.
- Santa departs for his final destination—The Children’s Inn at NIH—from Bethesda Triangle. Arrival at The Children’s Inn is expected at about 5:30 p.m. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., county police officers and Santa distribute gift bags to the children at The Children's Inn.
Gift cards collected this month by Montgomery County police officers will assist families staying at The Children's Inn in purchasing food and supplies during their stay. The funds also provide gifts for children receiving treatment at NIH.
To provide a financial donation online, visit www.childrensinn.org, click the "Donate Now" button and select "Santa Police Ride." Or, drop off donations for The Children’s Inn at any Montgomery County police district station.