MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — McAllen is ready to welcome Houston legend Pancho Claus to the Rio Grande Valley to bring cheer this holiday season.
Volunteers gathered to decorate toy collection boxes from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at El Cine Rey.
“Academy Sports and Outdoors contacted us a couple of months ago if we wanted to come to the Valley and do their sponsorship,” Reyes said. “We’re very grateful to Academy Sports and Outdoors to invite us, so about two or three months in the making.”
Richard Reyes, also known as Pancho Claus, is expanding his tradition from Houston to the Valley.
“The first thing we’re doing is getting volunteers together to help us decorate toy collection boxes” Reyes told ValleyCentral. “These collection boxes we want to put them in restaurants, stores, family parties, company parties, clubs.”
Reyes told ValleyCentral Pancho Claus started when he wrote a play based on the night before Christmas, about a man dressed in a Zoot suit who breaks into the bathroom window and leaves presents.
Reyes is well known in Houston, where he drives his lowrider, wears his red Zoot suit and hands out gifts during the holiday season.
Reyes has been distributing gifts as Pancho Claus for 41 years and for the first time is set to make several visits to the RGV, the release stated.
“Here in the Valley we really want to go to the Colonias,” Reyes stated. “So that’s what we’re hoping to visit.”
Academy Sports and Outdoors and several volunteers gathered to assist with the project.
“We’re hoping to achieve some support from the Rio Grande Valley on helping us serve these underprivileged kids,” Reyes added. “Next year we’re hoping to bring our performances.”
Local business or anyone interested in picking up a donation box to collect toys for the distribution, can do so from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 28, Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.
The public can also drop off toys at Cine El Rey, located at 311 S. 17th St in McAllen.
For more information on Pancho Claus, visit their Facebook page. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering can visit the GoFundMe page for at Pancho Claus GoFundMe 2022.