By Bob Kirkpatrick
The weather outside was a bit frightful. But the drive-up Santa Breakfast at Maywood Hills Elementary was still delightful, as hundreds waited patiently in line to get a bag full of healthy breakfast items, a warm coat, and toy and have their kid’s picture taken with the Jolly Old Elf.
“This is our 32nd year of serving the Santa Breakfast. It started in a little kitchen in Bothell and has grown over the years. We are now serving about 1,500 kids,” Northshore Rotary member Cheryl Bosh said. “About 15 years ago, the Woodinville Rotary Club decided to bring its Warm Coat Program to our event and they’ve been doing it ever since —we make a pretty good team.”
The popular annual event was held outside for the second consecutive year due to COVID, so the turnout wasn’t as big as in years past, but it was still a big hit.
“When we have it indoors, the event is free to all the kids in the Northshore School District–the district helps us put it together,” Bosh said. “But it’s open to everybody else for $3 a ticket because we don’t want any child to feel like this is a charity event—we want them to be a fun experience for them.”
Northshore Rotary President Brooke Knight said they expect to give out a lot of coats.
“We are ready to give out 1,000 coats,” Knight said. “We typically give out more, but our outdoor is smaller than when we were able to meet indoors. Over the past 15 years, we’ve given out close to 20,000 coats.”
The parents attending the drive-through breakfast undoubtedly appreciated the food, a warm coat for their child and a toy too, but having their picture taken with Santa was a big hit with the kids.
“A lot of them can’t do family pictures with Santa Claus, so they come to this event and can get one,” Bosh said. “This is a great community event—a lot of people donate items to us.
“If there is any food left over, we donate it to the Northshore Senior Center Food Bank.”
According to Pat Ford, director of community outreach for the Woodinville Rotary, 200 cars drove through the drive-thru. The rotary had 500 coats on hand and gave out 360 and 60 warm hats. She said the Woodinville Rotary Foundation and a grant from the city of Woodinville provided the funding for the items.
“This is one of the Northshore Rotary’s biggest events of the year,” Knight said. “When we are raising money throughout the year, this is one of the events it goes toward.”