The 11th annual Santa Speedo Run took place at Sidetrack Video Bar Dec. 3.
The event, a fundraiser for Center on Halsted, has grown exponentially year after year and has managed to take on a life of its own, with about 360 runners and supporters taking part in 2022.
The run kicked off at 2 p.m., and was followed by prizes and games, an awards ceremony for top individual and team fundraising, a donation presentation, and caroling that lasted into the night. As of the finish of the run the financial goal of $100,000 had already been met with more donations yet to be counted. Drag performer Debbie Fox came out of retirement to host this year's edition and she was assisted by a virtual army of helpers.
Proceeds from the event will go to Center on Halsted's youth housing initiative, which provides stable shelter and crucial services to LGBTQ youth. Sponsors of the event this year include Tito's Handmade Vodka, American Airlines, Perrier, Men's Room Chicago, Third Wing Business Strategies, Wellness Home at Northstar Healthcare and Miller Lite Beer.
Note: Organizers later said in a Dec. 9 statement that the event raised more than $115,000.
"This continues to be one of Chicago's treasured holiday traditions that fosters community for a cause," said the Center's Chief Development Officer Brad Snyder. "We are grateful to Sidetrack along with our organizers, volunteers, participants, sponsors and the Ho Ho Host Committee for helping us surpass all expectations."