By Natalie MAIER
The spirit of Christmas was found throughout the La Crescenta Woman’s Clubhouse on Saturday. Festive wreaths, Christmas lights and colorful decorations were plentiful, livening up the room that was filled with an air of expectancy.
Hosted by the LCWC Juniors, it was the club’s annual Breakfast with Santa holiday celebration and fundraiser, and children and parents were ready to greet the Jolly Old Elf.
When the doors opened at 9:30 a.m., guests lined up to stack their plates with bagels, donuts, scrambled eggs, waffles and sausages. Local businesses including Sprouts, Goldstein’s Bagel Bakery, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and Panera Bread donated a majority of the food.
“[Breakfast with Santa] gives people an opportunity to socialize in a different way,” said guest Patty Schwartz of Sylmar. “It feels like an old time community group where people can get together and have fun. It’s great Christmas spirit and a great down to earth activity.”
After the children ate, they crowded the craft tables to construct their own handmade stuffed penguins, with the aid of LCWC member Ruth Warner. The craft was an original design by Warner.
Entertainment included musicians and brothers Jon, Joe (brother-in-law of Ruth) and Gary Warner who played classic Christmas tunes while Caitlin Flores, a second grader at Mountain Avenue Elementary School, rattled jingle bells to the beat of the music.
Two students of WAW Talent Training and Performance Studios, Naomi Leader, a second grader at Monte Vista Elementary, and Jaya Chuan, a second grader at Atwater Elementary, each sang a song.
Gift baskets and door prizes donated by LCWC member Wendy Smith were raffled off to lucky attendees. Each time a winning ticket was called, the children eagerly scanned their long strand of tickets to see if they won the prize.
Twins Hailey and Paige Meror, second graders at Valley View Elementary, agreed that the highlight of the morning, however, was taking a picture with Santa. They told him they wanted an American Girl doll and an iPad for Christmas.
“[Breakfast with Santa] gives local families a holiday event to go to,” said Merry Kropff, curator of the LCWC Junior Section. “It fills a need, a niche. It’s a chance for kids to take a picture with Santa.”
LCWC member Lisa Malm has attended the annual event over the years while her kids were growing up.
“It’s homey. [The Women’s Club does] a nice job and the kids have fun with the activities and prizes. It’s a nice holiday tradition,” Malm said.
For over 100 years, the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, a non-profit organization, has supported the community through its fundraisers and donations to local charities. Benefactors include the Boy and Girls Scouts of America and scholarship recipients from CV High School and Glendale College.
A total of $1,316 was raised and 102 tickets were sold to Saturday’s event.
“It was a very good turn out for us [this year],” said Kropff.
The club members voted that $200 of the proceeds will be donated to the CV sheriff’s station on Briggs Avenue. The remainder of the money will be given to other charities. In the past, contributions have been made to the Glendale Humane Society, local women’s shelters, the Wildlife Waystation and Operation Smile.
Kropff said that the majority of the funds they raise go toward local organizations, save for Operation Smile.
“We like to give back locally,” she said.