Every Kid Deserves a Christmas Present So Join the South Walton Elf Ride on Dec. 9

November 27, 2012 by SoWal Staff

Luke Thompson was only 10 when he started the Elf Ride tradition in South Walton. He did it to help local children by raising awareness of the local Angel Tree charity at the South Walton Fire District (SWFD). It was a grand idea, and now five years later Luke is 15 and also known as "The Grand Elf".

Luke’s mom, Le Thompson, is part of the South Walton Witches Ride, an annual event featuring women riding bikes in costume along Scenic 30A on Halloween morning to benefit another childrens' charity. His mom and the other witches inspired Luke to start the South Walton Elf Ride with the hope of helping even more deserving children.

Luke saw an advertisement for the Angel Tree program and it prompted him to choose the goal of collecting Christmas presents for underprivileged children.

Luke just couldn't imagine a child not getting to open a present on Christmas. He made a call to the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) with his idea and the folks there jumped at the opportunity to be part of it. The SWFD has been instrumental ever since.

Fast forward five years and Luke’s Elf Ride is still going strong. This year the event takes place Dec. 9 - everyone will meet in front of the Seaside Post Office at 1:30pm. At 2pm sharp, participants will ride bikes, walk, run, or skateboard, to the fire station in WaterColor, approximately 1.5 miles.  Everyone is asked to bring at least one gift to benefit South Walton Fire District’s Angel Tree.

The first year there were about 50 participants. Last year there were 80, and Luke hopes this year will attract 100+ people for this worthy cause. His hope is that every child designated on the Angel Tree will be picked to receive a gift on Christmas, compliments of our South Walton community.

Upon arrival at the WaterColor fire station, there will be family fun with face painting and a bike decorating contest. Bruno’s Pizza has generously offered to provide delicious pizza for everyone, and Publix is also providing refreshments. Even Santa will stop by for a visit with the kids, and the fire station will offer fire truck tours, which is always fascinating at any age.

Come bring the family, and a gift or two, to the 5th Annual Elf Ride December 9th, and help the Angel Tree recipients have the Christmas morning they deserve. Let’s all show Luke Thompson what a generous community we have in South Walton.

For more information contact Luke Thompson by email at, give him a call at 850-502-0017, or check out the Elf Run facebook page.  You can also contact Robbie Lund, Administrative Assistant with the South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298. And don’t forget, you can also get updates on the SoWal Forum.


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