Breakfast with Santa burst onto the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School scene Saturday morning. The event has become a holiday tradition, organizers say. But it was a new experience for this year’s jolly old elf.
David Forrester calls himself a character actor, usually portraying a pirate. But on the invitation of Rotary Club East, he transformed his costume and showed up in the cafeteria dressed as Santa.
Kean High students played host to those who came, about 300, said Rotarian Leslie White. The Devil Ray’s band entertained. Cheerleaders helped whip up some holiday spirit.
Volunteers took over the cafeteria kitchen to prepare pancakes and sausages. Sugar cakes and homemade treats were laid out on a table.
“We’ve gotten donations from the community,” White said. “It’s just a real good community project that’s quick and fairly easy to put together.”
Rotarians Corrine Van Rensselaer and Deborah Jackson greeted guests at the door.
They included a busload of St. Thomas seniors and little ones from the Nana Baby Home for Children.
All were eager to meet the Big Guy, though some gave the side eye to those fold-over boots.
“Doesn’t Santa look like a pirate?” one attendee said. But for five-year-old Kenarcher Sylvester and three-year-old sister Kyomi, Santa’s presence couldn’t be more welcome.
Mom Adrian King said she was glad to bring the children to Kean High. “I did this to make them happy,” she said.
Forrester said he also enjoyed meeting and greeting the children. “It’s great to see the joy in their eyes and the bashfulness when they first come.”
Hopefully, it’s a memory they’ll carry for the rest of their lives. Proceeds from the event’s 50-50 raffle benefit the Rotary Interact Club, organizers said.