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Covid-19 hits close to home for Tucsonan behind Miracle on 31st Street

Posted at 6:55 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 11:19:54-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — He's the man many may consider Tucson's Santa.

"It's something I like to do. I feel good doing it," that's Ramon Gonzales told KGUN 9 a few years ago about his Miracle on 31st Street.

"Ramon was looking forward to it because it's the 50th year and we were going to make it big. We were going to have a lot of stuff for the kids, more stuff to do."

Suavecito Martinez said this year the pandemic shut down what would of been the 50th year of thousands of kids in need getting gifts.

"The difficult part was convincing Ramon that we can't do it this year. Us as the board, we all talked to him, let him know the pros and cons of it," Martinez said.

In the past, the event has grown so big it was held at the Casino Del Sol AVA Amphitheater. Something that just wasn't possible this year. For Martinez, he has been involved with the Christmas miracle for about eight years.

"Ramon was worried about the kids getting sick. There are thousands of kids so, we had to take in all the kids and families into consideration."

Just a few weeks ago, Covid-19 ended up hitting much too close to home for Ramon and his family.

"He didn't know he got Covid till he got rushed to the hospital, but yes, he is in the hospital as we speak fighting Covid-19," Martinez told KGUN 9.

As Ramon continues his fight in the hospital, Martinez and the volunteers behind Miracle on 31st Street are left sending this message to our community.

"For him to contract it in his own home, that just shows how effective this virus is so, take precautions. Wear your mask, wash your hands and do all the protocols to prevent Covid-19," Martinez said.

To honor Ramon's event, on Saturday, while there wont be a toy drive, there will be still be something for kids to see, the Christmas Caravan Cruise Parade.

"To let the community know that the car club and car scenes are still here and to let Ramon know that he still has everybody's support."

Support for Ramon's family when they need it the most, while they are in need of a miracle of their own.

"As his family was asking, just keep him in your prayers," said Martinez.

The Christmas Caravan Cruise Parade will take place at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, December 19 at Rodeo Park. For the entire route and more information, click here.