By Stewart McConnell

THE dulcit tones of Chrissie Hynde in the Pretenders hit 2,000 Miles can be heard all around and Santa and an army of elves are making their way around the neighbourhood.

It's Christmas 2018 and collection buckets are in hand as Troon Round Table take their Santa Float across the community.

This is Troon Round Table's biggest fundraiser of the year and they are aiming to secure around £500 a night as they make their way across Troon and Monkton. The hope is that they can secure around £8500 by the final outing of the year on Thursday night but volunteers are needed to help finish off the run.

Donations are being sought in exchange for small gifts for the children.

Elf volunteer and mother-of-two Elaine Latona enjoys being involved in the Santa float run and did not hesitate to help when asked.

She said: "The kids always enjoy Santa coming and I have two children, Charlie (I2) and Freddie (9). They are quite excited about Christmas. The Santa Float is good to support, especially for the younger children. They are a bit short-staffed to I agreed to help out. This is part of the Christmas. period and a good bit of enjoyment before Santa climbs down the chimney."

We meet four-year-old Emily Mackintosh, who is so excited to see Santa.

Asked what she would like for Christmas she said: "I want a light-up collar for my dog Alfie, a Labradoodle and a Lol Surprise Doll."

Around the corner a family are rushing back from the shops and think they have missed Santa. But he is still to visit.

Gillian Kerr is taking part in the Santa float event for the first time and said: "I have never done this before and didn't know about it. For 20 odd years I have worked with the Anchor Boys and our group will be supported through being involved in the float. Donations are being sought in exchange for small gifts for the children. We are celebrating the birth of the Baby Jesus, that's what it's all about."

Added fellow elf Diane Biesty: "This is a great event for the town and people should support it."

Lee Young is one of three drivers who helps escort Santa along and plays the Christmas hits.

He said: "This is my third night driving and we have three people sharing the duties. I have been in the Round Table for three years. It's great to go around the houses, round the community and we get a good response. When we are driving the float, before we have even started people are waving, it's amazing. We have had a good response from knocking the doors so far."

His wife Bernadette also helps out as an elf.

She said: "I got out every night raising money for St Patrick's Primary School. Kids are so excited and people follow the Santa tracker, come and catch up with us if they've missed them at their house. We just want to encourage people to share a couple of hours of their time."

Among the local groups so far who will benefit from the Round Table collections are St Patrick's and Troon Primary Schools, South Ayrshire Swim Team, Live@Troon, Troon Thistle and Marr Rugby.

Anyone who would like to help should log on to the Troon Round Table Facebook page.