Christmas came early for those on hand for Joliet Central High School’s Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 3.
Highlights at the event, which got underway at 8:30 a.m., included a breakfast, letter writing to Santa and reindeer food making. Santa and his wife, Mrs. Clause, arrived at 9:15 a.m. to visit with children and their families.
Mickey Vanderhyden, a district business clerk organizing the event, said Breakfast with Santa is hoped to please.
“I want to bring this community in,” she said. “We want to show off the new building. There (are) not very many Breakfasts with Santa on this side of town.”
The event in part is aimed at raising funds to support the scholarship in the name of former Joliet Central High School student-athlete Ryan McCarroll.
McCarroll died in a car accident in 2002.
Vanderhyden said the McCarroll family hopes to raise $8,000 to fund the scholarship.
“The family started a scholarship every year, so they asked me if I could help raise money for the scholarship,” she said.
Diana Thompson, of Joliet, was one of many parents in attendance for Breakfast with Santa. She said she’s glad that she and her daughter, Tiarra, decided to drop in.
“We wanted to support the athletics,” she said. “My brother-in-law is the head varsity basketball coach this year, so we wanted to (be) supportive of the teams.”
Thompson said she heard about the event through social media.
“I follow the (Joliet Township High School District 204’s) Twitter, so I found it on there,” she said.
Thompson said Breakfast with Santa serves as a great way for her family to get into the holiday season spirit.
“You get to meet Santa, huh?” she asked her daughter. “And, write Santa a letter, that’s nice, huh? Food was good, too, huh?”
Joliet resident Tanja Kucinic and her son Michael Kucinic, 7, were waiting in line for pictures with Santa. Tanja said she’s glad they dropped in for Breakfast with Santa.
“I like the different activities they have, and of course, Santa,” she said.
“Making something,” he said, pointing out that he created a cupcake decorated like a reindeer.
Tanja said her older son goes to Joliet Central High School and that’s how she heard they were holding the event. The holidays are a big deal in her family, she said.
“(The holidays are huge in my family) because it brings us together to do something together in the home,” Tanja said, noting how nice it is getting a chance to celebrate early.