Santa hosts 25th annual breakfast event

Brenda Echeverria, Arts & Rec Editor

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Student Optimist Club hosted its 25th annual Breakfast with Santa event where they fed 760 people, 397 of which were children.

At the event kids had the opportunity to meet and take pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even Frosty the Snowman.

“Frosty has been a new addition within the past ten years or so,” UW-Whitewater Community Optimist member Angie Alesci said. “Everything else has stayed relatively the same except for the number keeps going up of people who take advantage of coming to the event.”  

The event began at 8 a.m. and fed about 400 people within the first hour. The breakfast consisted of French toast, sausage and donut holes along with coffee or juice.

The breakfast was 5 dollars for adults and 1 dollar for children.

“A majority of the money will be used to simply cover the cost of the breakfast” Alesci said.

The event also featured a group of Christmas carolers, a reading and coloring corner for kids and a Mitten Tree for donations.

The Mitten Tree was used as a way to get donations for the Whitewater Unified School District. The donations being accepted were new or unused mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks.

Angie Alesci was happy to see the success of yet another Breakfast with Santa event.

“I love seeing the community come out. I love how diverse our community is and this is a great way to see a slice of our community,” Alesci said.

She also loved seeing the support of volunteers, many of who are also part of the Whitewater Student Optimist Club.

“I’m so grateful of how many people have volunteered time to cook, sing, clean tables, collect money,” Alesci said.

Senior Shannon Meinholz, was one of the volunteers at the event. Meinholz was a ‘runner’ and helped carry plates for families and kids, restock silverware and helped answer general questions.

It was her third year volunteering for Breakfast with Santa, and one of her favorite parts of the event continues to be seeing the kids’ smiling faces.

“The kids get so excited to see Santa. For some of them this may be the only Christmas event they get, so making that experience happen for them is a big thing,” Meinholz said.

The UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club was organized to further promote Optimist International’s focus of being a “Friend of Youth.” To see more of the group’s upcoming events visit their blog at