Santa didn’t get to eat very much, but he was still jolly at the Junior Service League’s Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Clayton Center for the Arts.
He also got to hear the wishes and hopes of many of Blount County’s children, as more than 350 attended the fundraising event this year.
The Junior Service League event is a fundraiser for the club’s major project, Toys for Blount County. Major Fundraising co-chair Katherine Caputo said she and co-chair Kelly Holliday are estimating the fundraiser raised more than $13,000, with $10,000 of that in sponsorships. Vice chairs for fundraising are Andrea May and Kyndra Brewer.
Caputo was in charge of recruiting sponsorships for JSL. Foothills Bank and Trust was the presenting sponsor. Caputo said local businesses were generous in supporting this event.
This year’s Breakfast with Santa had a new feature, a Christmas Market vendor fair on the balcony overlooking the foyer. “We had Village Tinker and other vendors selling different Christmas gifts. It was a neat in addition to our craft area,” she said, adding that Santa and breakfast, of course, were still the main attraction.
“It went really well. This was the second event we’ve had the Clayton Center. The first was the Pirates, Princesses and Pals Breakfast. It is just a great space for this event,” Caputo said.
Amanda Stone, JSL president, was happy with this year’s turnout and the venue. “It went real well. This was the third year we’ve done Breakfast with Santa, and I think this was the best one we’ve had. It certainly gets better and better every year,” she said. “Being able to have it at the Clayton Center and being able to incorporate the Christmas Market was fantastic.”
Stone said the event is becoming more organized each year. “I give credit to our fundraising committee for that,” she said.
Caputo said JSL is planning a new fundraiser for the spring called “BloomingDeals” and it is going to be a large scale sale of previously owned items of clothes, home décor and others donated by JSL members and non members. “Details are still rough, but this will be something new this year,” said Caputo.