CAMBRIDGE, NS - A community tradition that started a quarter of a century ago, the annual Breakfast with Santa at Cambridge Elementary School has become an event that many families look forward to.
Cambridge Elementary Home and School Association president Tobi Sampson said a lot goes into organizing the event in terms of lining up the food and supplies. The community is very supportive and they receive a lot of donations.
“We just think that it’s a good way to start off the holiday season and to be able to bring the community and families together,” Sampson said.
It takes a huge volunteer effort involving the home and school association, teachers, staff, parents and students. She said the school and community look forward to the breakfast.
About half way through the event, she said there had been a steady stream of visitors. Some people were lining up outside ten minutes before the doors opened at 8 a.m.
Cambridge Elementary breakfast program co-ordinator Paula Robinson, who started the annual pancake breakfast 25 years ago, said they get Grade 5 students to do the serving, something the young volunteers look forward to.
She has noticed that students who attended the breakfast in the early years now have families of their own and bring their kids. There are others who still attend even though their children or grandchildren are now grown up.
Approximately two decades ago, there was a year when the school was experiencing air quality issues and the space was unavailable for the breakfast.
“The community was very upset, so we did it at the fire hall,” Robinson said. “I was home and school president at the time and I had quite a few phone calls that the children were upset because they look forward to having the breakfast with Santa.”
She said there was only one year when the breakfast didn’t happen. This was during the “work to rule” job action taken by teachers in 2016.
Sampson and Robinson said the team of community volunteers hopes to keep the tradition alive for many more years to come.