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Pancakes and Christmas treats at Santa Breakfast

Helpers Sammy Chase and Quincy Andrews serve breakfast to Inter-Lakes Middle-Tier Principal Everett Bennett. Erin Plummer. (click for larger version)
December 15, 2010
MEREDITH — A hot breakfast and time with Santa Claus awaited guests at the Santa Breakfast held to raise money for Inter-Lakes High School's junior class.

The smells of bacon and pancakes mixed with the sights of volunteers in elf and Santa hats around trees, lights, and garland. Santa sat in a corner by a Christmas tree and had his photo taken with children before or after they finished their breakfast.

This was the second year for the Santa Breakfast. Class advisor Laura Brusseau said the breakfast was done in her high school in Rhode Island and she decided to introduce the idea to students at Inter-Lakes last year.

Junior class advisors said the fundraiser will likely be carried along by the class of 2012. Once they graduate, it will become a fundraiser for the senior class.

"It's really fun to see all the little kids' faces," said junior class president Allison Brown. "It really gets everyone in the Christmas spirit."

Class advisor Corey Henderson said the event is a good form of community outreach.

"It's just one of the most fulfilling fundraisers we do, it's so important," Henderson said.

Henderson said the breakfast also gives visiting elementary school students a chance to see the inside of the high school.

All proceeds from the breakfast go to the Class of 2012 for prom and graduation exercises.

Brusseau said parents had been asked to donate food, such as pancake mix, bacon, and other items.

Amanda Verbanic learned of the breakfast through her daughter Heather Taylor, the marketing representative for the junior class. Verbanic is the owner of the Center Harbor Diner and volunteered her time to help make food. Some of the items were prepared at the diner and brought over.

"I just get involved whenever I can with the school" Verbanic said, saying she is also willing to volunteer her time and space to any other local cause. "Anything I can help with."

Student and parent volunteers helped cook food and served it to guests, many wearing Christmas hats.

"They've been great here helping us out in the kitchen," Verbanic said.

Barbara Jenkins, who co-owns Oak Hill Golf Course with her husband, volunteered with her daughter Libbie.

"I love working with the kids. It's great camaraderie, they're energetic and fun," Jenkins said.

"It's fun. It's a bit chaotic but it's a fun chaotic," Libbie Jenkins said. "I love little kids."

Junior Alicia Gagnon also had fun serving food and working with the guests.

"I like it because they come up and they're just happy and they eat and go see Santa," Gagnon said.

The Man in Red sat in the corner by a Christmas tree and took visits from children with a student taking pictures.

Year-old Madison Ahlquist of New Hampton visited Santa for the first time. Despite some tears, she did shake Santa's hand and pose for a photo in the arms of her parents Dara and Jason Ahlquist. The family came with Jason Ahlquist's mother Nancy Ahlquist after learning of the breakfast through a nephew in the junior class.

"I think it's a great holiday festivity for the community and really gets you in the Christmas Spirit," said Dara Ahlquist. "It's really great for the kids."

Children could also have their faces painted, watch Christmas DVD's, and take part in crafts. Students also sold Boston Coffee Cakes to raise funds for their class.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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