DES Workers Gear Up for Operation Santa

Workers at the Department of Environmental Services are in the midst of their annual fundraising campaign for Operation Santa Claus, and they’ve got a big event next week.

The popular Chili Bowl returns, but this year there’s a new wrinkle: Chowder. The Chili Bowl/Chowda Fest will take place in the Atrium at 29 Hazen Drive on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. For a donation of $5, you can sample the great chili and chowder offerings. You’re encouraged to bring your own bowl and spoon (though they’ll have some on hand in case you forget).

Maria Michel, who’s a member of the DES Operation Santa Claus committee, said they’re looking to continue the success of the Chili Bowl.

“Last year, we were able to raise $330,” she said. “Overall, we raised around $3,100 and were able to help 81 children.”

In addition to the chili/chowder event, they’re holding silent auctions for an Indian dinner, a guided kayak fishing trip and and an ocean voyage boat tour. Bidding on all three opens Friday. They’re also raffling off themed baskets and holding a 50/50 raffle. You can see the full schedule of events and offerings here. If you have any questions, Maria Michel said you can email her at

All in all, the outstanding community effort at DES allows them to help many children who otherwise would have to go without on Christmas.

Are you holding fundraisers for Operation Santa Claus? Let us know by sending an email to or and we’ll feature it in this space.

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