Ho-Ho-Holiday Cheer Found at Area Breakfasts

The community turns out for local breakfasts that showcase holiday fun and Santa.

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
Mrs. Claus helps a guest wrangle his toy at the CV Park Breakfast with Santa.

By Lori BODNAR and Mary O’KEEFE

Family and friends gathered together on Saturday to make memories, visit with Santa Claus and enjoy area breakfasts.

Crafts, breakfast and firefighters were found at the La Crescenta Woman’s Club’s 28th annual Breakfast with Santa. 

About 200 people attended the event that included a breakfast of waffles, eggs, bacon and lots of pastries. Most of the adults paid $15 per ticket with proceeds from the breakfast dedicated to the Club’s philanthropy efforts and scholarships.

At the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, 2-year-old Finley Carr enjoyed time with Santa.

“We create such beautiful memories,” said Dawna Berger, one of the co-organizers of the event. “There are many volunteers who help. Our Breakfast with Santa event is a special holiday tradition for families; people who come used to be little ones and are now grown up and are bringing their little ones. We love doing this for our community.”

She added the event would not take place if not for the generous support of the community.

“People join in and participate with the activities, crafts and holiday music. This is a friendly way to get a perfect photo with Santa Claus,” said Michele Pashayi, event co-organizer.

“There are several generations here including grandchildren, grandparents and parents. Everyone comes together. We not only have the Woman’s Club [members] but spouses and volunteers,” added Catherine Sulzberger, La Crescenta Woman’s Club member. “All the leftover food is donated to the Fire House [youth center].”

Children enjoyed craft making at the LCWC breakfast

Santa listened to children’s Christmas wishes and then gave each a Sacagawea gold dollar coin as well as a wrapped gift. Kids and families also took free pictures with Santa, courtesy of Skip Rogers.

Francesca Cramer came to the breakfast with her kids, Leo, 4 years old, and Luca, 6 months old.

“This event is really fun. It is a good way to get a picture with Santa,” Cramer said. “It’s a fun family tradition that we come to every year.”

Elizabeth McGuire with sons Brendan, 3 years old, and Cillian, 5 years old

Santa shared center stage with holiday music performed by the Crescenta Valley High School Charismatics and solo vocalist Steffany Reichman.

One new activity at the Breakfast with Santa was an interactive drumming percussion performance by the Rumbling Rhythms. Alan Bruni from the Rumbling Rhythms passed out percussion instruments for the kids and adults to play.

Francesca Cramer with 6 week old Luca at lcwc breakfast with Santa

“The overall thing about drumming is building community,” said Bruni. “For the different rhythms, if you can say it with your mouth, you can play it with your hands.”

Kerry and Danette Erickson brought their 2-year-old grandchild Lexi to her first Breakfast with Santa. 

“I like this music part. We may go to a music class after this,” Kerry said.

Grandparents Kerry and Dannette Erickson with their daughter-in-law Agnes and 2-year old granddaughter Lexi Erickson

In addition to pictures with Santa, people took photos with firefighters Grant Berger, Tom Bail, Narek Babayan, and Rudy Woody from Glendale Fire Station 29.

Woman’s Club member Marilyn Wright sidled up to the firefighters for a group photo, something she said she’s done for over 20 years.

“The Breakfast with Santa is a great event,” said Harry Leon, Crescenta Valley Town Council president. “It brings the family and community together.”

Not only was Santa found at the La Crescenta Woman’s Club but also at CV Park where he and Mrs. Claus greeted guests of the annual Breakfast with Santa and toy drive hosted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept.-Crescenta Valley Station.

Station volunteers, supported by deputies and other personnel and members of Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, made Christmas a little merrier for many local families.

Well over 200 kids and family members stood in a long line early in the morning at the entrance to the park’s courtyard so they could be part of this traditional philanthropic outreach. The children could hardly control their excitement as they looked over the tables of donated toys. Before making their choices, they and their families were treated to breakfast and a visit with Santa, who gave each child a stuffed animal. Then, as they picked out their toys, and a puzzle or book, they made their way to a truck full of groceries where each family was given two bags of goods.

The annual event food and toy giveaway begins with food
donations collected during the Thanksgiving Day Run in La Cañada Flintridge. Donation barrels were then placed throughout the Crescenta Valley where a generous community donated toys for families struggling over the holidays.

More photos online by Jackie BODNAR, Mary O’KEEFE and Stephen SULZBERGER