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City gives free rental for Santa and pony pictures
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A fundraiser by Horsin’ Around and McMinnville Special Games has received support from city officials, who decided to pony up and provide a free rental. 

Horsin’ Around with McMinnville Special Games will be offering Santa and Miniature Pony pictures on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The pictures will be $8 apiece and all proceeds will benefit McMinnville Special Games.

That event is slated to be held on the grassy lot at Court Square. The cost for use of that city-owned property is $100, as well as a refundable $100 security deposit due at the time of reservation. Those are fees organizers petitioned the city to waive. 

“I’m here on behalf of Holly McBride because she was not able to attend tonight,” said representative Natalie Davenport. “I’m on the board of McMinnville Special Games and we are requesting that fee be waived. We’ve had, kind of, a rough time with fundraising, but we still have many active participants. We are asking for a waiving of that fee, so we can take advance of this opportunity. This is the first time that we’ve done anything like this.”

Because the last two years have been difficult on the organization’s fundraising efforts, members are thinking outside the box. This event will allow children to get their picture made with Santa and some miniature ponies. Volunteers will also be selling hot cocoa and popcorn and it will be first-come first-serve. Visitors will have a chance to pet the animals while they wait.

Mayor Ryle Chastain stated, “This is something that’s commonly done for nonprofit organizations with the use of our facilities. I’ll entertain a motion to approve the request for a fee waiver.”

A motion to do just that was approved 5-0 by Chastain, Vice Mayor Everett Brock, and Aldermen Rachel Kirby, Steve Harvey and Sally Brock.