By LOIS KINDLE
The GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club is going above and beyond to make Christmas special for South Shore area children this December.
For three years running, it’s hosted Breakfast with Santa, an annual scholarship fundraiser for high school graduates. This year is no exception; however, the event has been expanded and renamed as Breakfast in Santa’s Village.
It take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 11 inside and outdoors at the club’s brightly decorated, historic clubhouse at 503 U.S. 41 S, Ruskin.
In addition to a buffet-style breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, assorted pastries, orange juice, milk and coffee, children will have the opportunity to share their Christmas wishes with the Jolly Old Soul and have their pictures taken with him and Mrs. Claus.
Gift baskets for both kids and adults (and other items) will be raffled off, and any child who brings a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a child in need gets a free raffle ticket to use on a chance at one of the children’s baskets. The toys will go to children served by Meet Me in the Street Ministry in Ruskin.
Otherwise, tickets range in price from $5 to $20, depending on the value of the gift basket or raffle item. Someone could be going home with a $500 Gold & Diamond Source gift certificate or Tampa Bay Lightning tickets!
Baker John Bouilliard will display the large gingerbread house he made to be raffled off as well.
For the first time ever, the event will include some delightful outdoor activities for kids of all ages. They will include Grinch Village, where the Grinch will dodge in and out of a Christmas tree forest and be targeted by the youngsters for prizes; Igloo (putt-putt) Golf; Penguin Bowling; Elf Snowball; face painting; an arts and crafts table and petting zoo.
The cost for the entire event, including Breakfast with Santa, is $10 per child and $20 per adult.
“Breakfast in Santa’s Village is a taste of the North Pole,” said Cheryl Deleon, the event’s chairwoman. “We’re so excited about it. We hope to be able to award ten to 15 scholarships to graduating seniors at Lennard and East Bay high schools and the South County Career Center in May and to a mature student at Hillsborough Community College SouthShore.”
Kat Sherwood, the club’s current president, is equally as excited.
“Cheryl outdid herself this year,” she said. “She and her committee members worked extra hard to create a wonderful event for the children of this community.”
To RSVP for Breakfast in Santa’s Village, call the GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club at 813-296-3900 or Deb Bonebrake at 813-892-7235, visit www.gfwcruskinwomansclub.org/events or contact any club member.
There’s more –
To kick off the holiday season, the Ruskin Woman’s Club is sponsoring its second annual Christmas tree lighting at 5 p.m. Nov. 26 on its clubhouse grounds.
The event will include cookies, cider and hot chocolate, the reading of Christmas stories to kids and an area for them to color pictures and write letters to Santa.
The public is invited to view the lighting of an 11-foot tree set up behind the gate at 503 U.S. 41 S.
“We are asking all businesses up and down U.S. 41 to put up a wreath, lights or decorate in some way to help us bring Christmas to Ruskin,” said Kat Sherwood, club president. “Individual club members will be handing out flyers provided by the SouthShore Chamber requesting they join the celebration.”
All businesses who participate will be promoted by the chamber, whether or not they are members. Additionally, their names will be publicized in The Observer News.