Optimists bring holiday cheer to campus

Annual Breakfast with Santa brings joy to Whitewater families


Katelyn Black

Esker Dining Hall was lined with Christmas decorations and hungry families Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. for the Optimist Breakfast with Santa.

Katelyn Black, Lifestyle Editor

The Whitewater community Optimists, with the help of the UW-Whitewater student optimists carried on the December tradition of ‘Breakfast with Santa’ on Dec. 7, marking the 26th year of the holiday event.

And despite the fact that the event is only a little over two hours, months of planning went into it for Lanora Heim, one of the chairmembers in charge of the annual event.

“We started months ago looking for volunteers. We have a big crew of high school volunteers and university volunteers,” said Heim.

“On top of that, we needed to work with A’viands and get the space, as well as planning press and music for the event.” This year featured a breakfast buffet and different musical groups from the community and university.

Overall, despite the immense amount of planning, to Heim, it is truly all worth it to see families having a fun time.

“One of my favorite parts is watching entire families come and eat. It’s come to mean a lot to people. People look forward to the event and come every year,” said Heim. I just think it’s a wonderful way to spread some cheer and optimism, and a way for families to gather in a positive environment because we need a lot more of that.

The creators of the event also put a lot of effort into making sure that the event is open to

every single family, no matter their financial situation for the holiday.

The Optimists team up with the UW-Whitewater Warhawk Food Pantry every year to give struggling families free tickets to the event, even if they can’t afford a ticket.

According to Lanora Heim, this is important because the goal of the event is not to raise money for the org.

“We work with the pantry on campus and the local food pantry, as well as the school district to make sure they have tickets and distribute them,” said Heim.

“The event is not a fundraiser. It’s just a community service event. We’re really just trying to spread some holiday cheer.”