Santa Claus and Buster welcome toy givers to sbX.
On November 30, Santa’s helpers and quite a few elves gathered at Mathis Brothers Furniture Store in Ontario to stuff seven Omnitrans buses with gifts for the Spark of Love toy drive. The state-of-the-art Omnitrans sbX vehicle was right there with our vintage 1958 diesel Old Blue and five of the New Flyer XN40 coaches from the Omnitrans fleet. It was quite a sight and great for ABC7’s annual Spark of Love Toy Drive Stuff a Bus event.
Hundreds of people delivered unwrapped new toys for children of the Southland. Omnitrans coach operators and California firefighters will deliver the gifts to kids in need, making this holiday season truly unforgettable for many families.
Floor to ceiling, this bus is stuffed!
The sbX XN60 bus also made its broadcast debut, appearing on several telecasts throughout the day with Santa’s biggest helper, Meteorologist Garth Kemp. Despite the rain, and with the help of jolly old St. Nick and Omnitrans’ mascot Buster, the donated toys filled six-and-a-half buses. Who needs reindeer?
– David Rutherford
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Nope, it’s not the premier of a new Star Wars movie–it’s the annual Spark of Love Toy Drive in Ontario! Imperial Stormtroopers and Tusken Raiders make Santa’s “nice list” as they join ABC7, California Firefighters and Omnitrans in helping to fill buses with toys for underserved children.
Rain isn’t dampening people’s holiday spirit in the least! Festivities started at 4 a.m. this morning, and already two buses have been stuffed with toys to brighten the holidays for local kids! “It’s an amazing turnout,” said Nicole Ramos, outreach specialist for Omnitrans. “This is one of our favorite events to do each year! The California Firefighters and ABC7 do an incredible job at pulling this together and rallying the community. We’re excited to be a part of it.”
Santa and Buster are busy greeting all the visitors who are helping to spread holiday cheer with their new toy donations. Last year six 40-foot buses were stuffed with gifts through the toy drive. This year, in addition to their regular buses, Omnitrans has also brought along the first of its brand new 60-foot sbX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles that is scheduled to begin service in 2014. Buster gave Santa a quick tour, and the man in red was very impressed by the sleekness of the new vehicle and the number of toys it can hold. It can’t beat a sleigh pulled by eight magical reindeer, but it is definitely a close second!
Show your holiday spirit! Come on down and join us today before 6 p.m.
Spark of Love Toy Drive
Mathis Bros. Furniture
4105 E. Inland Empire Blvd., Ontario