The rain on Saturday might have canceled the Dawsonville Christmas parade, but it wasn’t enough to stop hundreds of families from coming to Rock Creek Park to eat breakfast and meet the one and only Santa Claus.
Dawson County Parks and Recreation hosted the annual Breakfast with Santa event Dec. 1, with proceeds from the event going to K.A.R.E. for Kids to make Christmas magic happen for underprivileged children in Dawson County.
“This event would not be possible without the efforts from the local businesses and organizations that took time out of their Saturday to fight the nasty weather and give back to our community,” said Buffie Hamil, programs and facilities coordinator at the county parks and recreation department.
Local businesses and vendors came together to provide activities and goodies for children such as coloring pages provided by Creative Movement and Dance, who host dances classes at the park, sugar cookie decorating at the Dawson Eye Group table, newspaper ornament decorating provided by Dawson County News and free tattoos and presents provided by Dawson County Family Connection.
“We loved seeing the children coming up to our table to pick up a wrapped growth chart or drawing pad. I don’t think they had a clue what was in that package, but they were all giggles getting a present,” said Family Connection Coordinator Nancy Stites.
The Family Connection table was located near the entrance and exit of the vendor’s room, and Stites said she loved seeing kids leaving the event covered in Christmas face paint, chocolate frosting and glitter.
But the day was about more than the free goodies and fun activities for kids. It was about a community coming together to give back through purchasing breakfast to raise money for K.A.R.E. for Kids, investing in local businesses selling their unique crafts and handmade gifts and donating blood to help save lives.
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, which was at the event collecting blood donations, also saw a great day the organization issued in a statement.
“We had a great day, registering five donors and collecting four donations. When you consider that one pint of blood can save up to three lives, Dawson County donors saved up to 12 lives in our local community hospitals and medical centers,” the statement reads. “With a few donors following us to Walmart, we were able to exceed our daily goal of 15 donations, collecting 17 donations for the day.”
During the three-hour breakfast, which was provided by event sponsor Chick-fil-A and served up by local Boy Scouts from Troop 422, there were approximately 475 biscuits and 450 drinks sold. That amounts to over $900 being collected for K.A.R.E. for Kids, which should be enough to provide Christmas presents for two to three kids, said Hamil.
“We are extremely blessed to live in an area where the small-town vibe is still alive and is ever present during an event like this one,” Hamil said.