Through its Breakfast With Santa benefit, Kiwanis Club of Cartersville is looking to enhance its outreach programs for Bartow’s youth. Set for Dec. 5 from 8 to 10 a.m., the event will feature a pancake breakfast and pictures with Santa Claus at Applebee’s, 185 Cherokee Place in Cartersville.
“The Kiwanis Club is an ... organization that is devoted to the betterment of children,” said Ennis Denham, president of the Kiwanis Club of Cartersville. “... This is the first [Breakfast With Santa] that we’ve done. It is our hope that this will ... [become an] annual event.
“We are doing, of course, the pancake breakfast, [which will] be a fundraiser for us, and having Santa. Children [will] have the opportunity to visit with Santa, spend a little time and get their picture made. [It] will be kind of an ideal way for them to move into the Christmas season. We feel like, because of being the children’s organization that we are, it would just be one more way that we could offer services to children in Bartow County.”
Along with generating funds, Breakfast With Santa also will raise awareness for the Kiwanis Club of Cartersville.
“We’re looking for new ways to raise funds because our previous stuff seems to be drying up on us right now,” Kiwanis Club member Frank Cline said.
“This seems to be a good way, and it helps us out by bringing people closer to the club. We want to get people more interested in the club by getting out just exactly what Kiwanis does.
“I’ve been a member since 2000. I enjoy just the camaraderie and ... seeing the look on people’s faces when you are able [to] assist them in some way. I was fortunate enough to be able to be the presenter for our scholarships a couple of years, and it really is heartwarming when someone who actually needs the little boost gets it.”
Although tickets for Breakfast With Santa can be obtained at the door, Denham recommends people purchase them in advance because the event only will serve 400 individuals. Tickets to the pancake breakfast will be $6 per person. Pictures with Santa will either be $5 or, if parents prefer to take their own photographs, a donation will be requested.
“[Proceeds from the event] will go back to the children in some shape, form or fashion, because we do a number of things,” Denham said. “We do the Kiddie Day Parade every year, which is from infants up to fifth grade. We usually have had money that we pour back into that event. We provide scholarships for four high school students within the immediate Bartow County area. We try to do one from each high school. Then we also have people that come to us with immediate needs on a one-on-one basis. We support the local children’s shelter. We do pizza parties with them every month. We also help them out at Christmastime with various gifts. We buy tickets for them to the movies so that they can go see a feature at the local cinema. So we have a variety and a diversified way that we put the money right back into the kids and the community.
“I’m in my 24th year [in the Kiwanis Club]. I guess kids have a soft spot in everyone’s heart, and I am no exception to that. I know that some kids have greater needs than others, and we just try to help as many of them as we can. In today’s world that need is tremendous. You can’t meet all the needs, but we try to meet as many as we can.”
For more information about Kiwanis Club of Cartersville or to purchase tickets for its upcoming benefit, call Denham, 770-605-4477; Wayne Mathews, 770-655-2603; or Linda Denham, 678-848-0016.