Niagara-on-the-Lake residents and tourists got treated to a special breakfast with Santa Claus on Saturday morning.
A portion of the proceeds from a special breakfast, which included scrambled eggs, home fries, sausage, bacon, toast, fruit and a drink, served at the Epicurean restaurant went toward Niagara-on-the-Lake Palliative Care Service.
Some diners said they didn’t know about the charitable drive behind the event, while others came out to specifically show their support – but all agreed it was a great cause and they were happy to support it.
Santa handed out candy canes, striking up a conversation with customers and posing for photos with both adults and kids alike, while Gregory Upshaw and John Chisholm played holiday tunes.
NOTL resident Tim Taylor was the jolly man in the red suit.
Taylor, who also writes for The Lake Report, has been attending many community events, organizations and businesses dressed as Santa while raising money for Palliative Care. This month, he has about 30 gigs to attend as the iconic Christmas character, with events spread out across the Niagara region.
“I like seeing smiles on children’s faces,” Taylor said about his experience dressing up as Santa while supporting Palliative Care. “I do it anyway but it’s nice to have a reason behind it.”
Taylor said he connected with the Epicurean owner Gina Angelakopoulos last year and when he learned she was looking for a Santa for the event, he offered his services.
The second annual breakfast had a “fantastic turnout” and drew more people than last year, said Palliative Care program manager Bonnie Bagnulo.
“I’m overwhelmed with the support,” she told The Lake Report. “Thank you to the many volunteers that came out and all the new faces in the community. And a super huge thank you to Gina and her staff.”
Angelakopoulos said she was also very pleased and happy with the turnout.
“Getting into the spirit and bringing the community together in order to raise the awareness of the Palliative Care in the area,” she told The Lake Report. “It’s just the matter of everybody really enjoying themselves for a good reason. Smiles and cheers are always a happy thing especially in times like these because there are other people who are less fortunate.”
One of the Palliative Care volunteers, Margaret Walker, said she brought four friends with her to show support to her “favourite charity.”
Another volunteer, Marlene Bridgman, said it was a great cause and Palliative Care is very much needed in the community.