Operation Santa Sleigh caravan lights up Dayton Children’s Hospital

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — A caravan of emergency vehicles traveled from Vandalia to Dayton Children’s Hospital Thursday night.

Operation Santa Sleigh began in Vandalia near the Dayton Airport Expo Center and traveled south on Dixie Drive to Needmore Road and then east to Old Troy Pike.

>> Coronavirus: FDA authorizes Merck’s COVID-19 pill

The caravan continued north on Old Troy to Taylorsville Road, where it continued east to Brandt Pike. Once on Brandt Pike, the caravan went south to Harshman Road and then onto Route 4. Once on Route 4 the caravan ended at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The vehicles surrounded the hospital with the flashing lights from their emergency vehicles and waved to children having to stay in the hospital for the holiday.

Operation Santa Sleigh in the Miami Valley was one of eight happening across the state.

According to Detective Dan Wessling, Miami Twp. Police Department, at least 60 cruisers registered to participate last week, but he estimated roughly 100 cruisers would end up at the hospital.

This was the second year locally for the event.

In 2020, more than 100 local emergency vehicles participated in the event when in travelled through southern Montgomery County.

Wessling said he was excited to help bring a little holiday spirit and good feelings to the kids at Dayton Children’s.

>> Coronavirus: United Airlines, Delta, Alaska Airlines cancel Christmas Eve flights

“[We want] to let them know that we are thinking of them and this is our way of bringing Santa to them,” Wessling said.

This year, Wessling said, the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Huber Heights donated flashlights to the kids so that they could shine lights back at the officers and first responders.