A young boy smiles as Santa Claus waves in the background during a photo opportunity at the Fort Sherman Chapel on Saturday.

| December 10, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Families supported the Museum of North Idaho and visited Santa — from a distance — at the Fort Sherman Chapel, 332 W. Hubbard St., from 11a to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.

It’s the first holiday fundraiser in the museum’s 50-year history.

The initial idea was to host a vintage Christmas at the White House, the museum’s future home, but that remains under renovation at McEuen Park.

“There was also the question of how to hold a public event that kept our staff, volunteers, and Santa safe,” wrote museum Development Director Jocelyn Whitfield-Babcock. “Considering Stage 2, we had to ensure there were not more than 10 people in the sanctuary.”

MNI held the first “Socially Distant Santa Selfie” last Saturday at Fort Sherman Chapel. It included music, cookies, drinks and decorations.

Proceeds supported museum operations at its current home, 115 Northwest Blvd., and the new building at Eighth and Young.

The MNI is closed from November to March.