The one and only Santa Claus is taking some much deserved time for a breakfast date with Mrs. Claus next weekend at Calvary United Church in St. Jacobs.
The outing is coordinated and put on by the Optimist Club of St. Jacobs, with organizer Rob Perry gearing up for this special 13th annual Breakfast with Santa.
The event, Perry explains, is really a community gathering for people to enjoy during the holiday season.
“It is an all ages type thing, we have lots of food and lots of seating for people to come and visit and for it to be a community thing. We have Santa and Mrs. Claus and little things for the kids to keep them entertained – crayons and colouring books on the table,” said Perry, noting it helps parents also enjoy their meal.
During breakfast, guests will also enjoy Christmas music from the ladies barbershop group, the Chord Spinners, and for the kids, or really whoever wants it, Cleo the Clown will be on hand to do some face-painting at the breakfast.
“It is my favourite time of the year. It’s my favourite event,” he said.
Perry has been helping with the Breakfast with Santa for 12 years now. In addition to the joy the one-day event brings the community, he also stressed the work the Optimists Club does help to provide for the community year round.
“I think people see us as, or know us for our Breakfast with Santa, but we really want to stress that we do a lot more than that. Our philosophy is that we can improve our community by making the lives of kids better, so everything we do throughout the year is targeted towards that.”
Funds raised from the breakfast will be going to St. Jacobs Public School. Since the Optimists have started the Leadership Program at the school in 2014, they have donated more than $20,000 to be used at the school for things such as their Lego Robotics program, and provide speakers and authors for the kids to learn from.
“We are working hard to make sure that these kids have experiences above and beyond what they would normally have available to them through the curriculum,” he explained.
As for those expected to attend the breakfast, comparable to years prior Perry says they will feed around 300 guests – and after a decade of doing so, the Optimists have the favourite activity down to a science.
Although the club has some 20 volunteers coming out to help feed guests, they can always use more hands. As a group they can sign off on high school volunteer hours, and encourage any secondary school students to reach out if they are interested in helping.
The Optimist Club of St. Jacobs 13th annual Breakfast with Santa will be taking place on December 9, from 9 a.m. until noon, at the Calvary United Church in St. Jacobs. The cost is $5 per person and includes a full breakfast, silent auction, face painting, Christmas carols and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.