Always a highlight of the holiday season, Polk County’s track and field program will hold the 8th Annual Reindeer Games on Wednesday beginning at 4 p.m. in G.M. Tennant Stadium.

The brainchild of Polk County assistant coach Amanda Simoncic, the purpose of the Reindeer Games is to help provide food for the needy over the holiday season. An “entry fee” of one can of food per athlete (or $2) will be collected. Spectators will also be “charged” one can of food for admission or $5. All cans of food will be donated to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry.

The program collected more than 3,100 cans of food at last year’s event.

“That means a lot of people with needs won’t be going without,” Simoncic said at last year’s Games. “Something that my mother always told me was that we may not have a whole lot that we can do for you, but we can make sure you’re fed.”

On the track, times, heights and distances will count for state meet qualifying, But some added events will be held that are not normally part of indoor meets. There will be, for example, a Field Event 4 x 100 relay, limited only to field event athletes.

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