Parents get a break from making breakfast, kids have an abundance of crafts to keep them occupied and families get their photo taken with Santa.
Is it any wonder Ladysmith’s annual Breakfast with Santa is an event that many residents look forward to?
The 14th-annual edition was held Sunday at the Aggie Hall, raising funds for LaFF (Ladysmith Family and Friends) and attracting about 680 people.
Santa, local Rotarians, the photographer, Interact High School Club, Starbucks and many more volunteers donates their time to make this a special event.
The main financial sponsors include Layman Financial Services, RBC and Fred and Karen Green. Rotarians provide the materials, cook and serve breakfast and help clean up after. Businesses and residents around the community provide gift baskets, toys and gift certificates for the silent auction. The Santa Breakfast is a major fundraiser for LaFF.
Starbucks donates around $1,000.00 worth of coffee and other drinks for the event. Chris Boar of CB Photography is a LaFF Dad and has been providing free photography with Santa for 14 years. Santa himself comes down from the North Pole early for this special event.
Local LaFF parents, grandparents and friends manage the kids craft stations and photo area. Amy McMillan is a community volunteer, as well as a long-time event supporter and worker with the Ladysmith Ambassador Program. This year she managed a table for the children to pack pouches of “Reindeer food” to be left out with the stockings on Christmas Eve.
Amy has Downs Syndrome but she does not let it stop her from being an important volunteer for LaFF, the Ambassador program and anything else she sets her mind to.
“I love working with children and teens best. I have been with the Ambassador program for 12 years and it is my dream to do it,” she said.
LaFF Executive Director Jacqueline Neligan was working in the hall, keeping an eye on everything, sweeping the floor, greeting families, helping children and parents and enjoying the event with her granddaughter Layla.
For Neligan the Breakfast with Santa is way to bring people together to work, have fun and eat together and a way for LaFF to participate in building community.
“Breakfast with Santa is an opportunity for people to give and to receive,” she said. “One-hundred fifty tickets were purchased by businesses and individuals and then donated back to ensure that everyone was able to participate and there are no barriers.”