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Cabarrus Shrine Club gearing up for another Breakfast With Santa Dec. 7

KANNAPOLIS — Over the years, the Cabarrus Shrine Club’s yearly Breakfast With Santa has become more than just breakfast, and more than just a visit with Santa.

The Dec. 7 breakfast this year again also offers kids goody bags and a chance to write letters to Santa, have fun at a Christmas arts and crafts table, enjoy hot chocolate and mingle with all kind of mascots, firetrucks, law enforcement vehicles and more.

Yes, Santa is in the house and ready to meet with the children. And yes, the breakfast includes pancakes, bacon, sausage, coffee and orange juice.

If you want your pancakes in the shape of a reindeer, well, that can be arranged.

“Breakfast With Santa needs to be magical for kids,” says Jean Kadela, one of the chief organizers for the past five years.

Breakfast With Santa is open to the public and will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Dec. 7 at the Cabarrus Shrine Club, 1460 Oakwood Ave., across from Kannapolis Middle School. The cost is $5 a person. Kids younger than 3 eat free.

The preparation for Breakfast With Santa takes months, and the day itself requires an army of Shriners, their family members and community friends.

“It takes a village to do these things,” Kadela says, “and everybody’s help is appreciated.”

Proceeds support Shriners hospitals, which provide pediatric specialty health care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lips and palates.

“Through my work on this event over the last several years,” Kadela says, “I have had the privilege of meeting many children — and now, grown adults — who have benefited from the hospitals’ services.”

“The hospitals have touched more lives than you realize,” says Cabarrus Shrine Club President Doug Osborne.

Shriners, their spouses and others get into the spirit by dressing as Christmas trees and elves during the morning.

Attractions that have committed to the breakfast so far include a Kannapolis Police Department squad car and SWAT vehicle; a Kannapolis firetruck; an N.C. Highway Patrol vehicle; the Cabarrus Pet Society; the N.C. Department of Agriculture trailer; and a Tesla electric car owned by Mike Babber.

Mascots who will attend include Sharky, Fat Cat, Lug Nut, Eddie the Eagle and McGruff.

“What’s wonderful is the attractions who come want to come back,” Kadela said.

Cabarrus County Deputy Sheriff James Bailey plays Santa. An information trailer on Shriners hospitals also will be on site.

Breakfast With Santa is the Cabarrus Shrine Club’s second-biggest fundraiser during the year, topped only by its annual car, truck, tractor and motorcycle show. The club also raises money through rental of its clubhouse and has barbecue and spaghetti dinners.

“What is a better way to give to hospitals for children than to do something for children?” Kadela asks.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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