Article by Jeanine Fassl of the UWW/Community Optimist Club
For over 25 years, December has always been a very busy month for the UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club. The members of this community service group love to spread Christmas cheer throughout the Holidays with their involvement in Whitewater’s Annual Holiday Parade, the club’s annual Breakfast with Santa, Toys for Kids toy drive, and Mitten Tree events!
Again this year, Frosty the snowman got a first class ride in the city’s Christmas Parade on Dec. 7th. He was also present for our Annual Breakfast with Santa the following day.
On December 8th, Breakfast with Santa served a total of 671 people this year; 365 adults and 306 children. Over 50 volunteers of the UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club, UW-Whitewater Student Optimist Club, and Whitewater High School Octagon Club helped run this event where families could enjoy breakfast, meet and take pictures with Santa and Frosty, listen to Christmas carolers, and the music of the brass duet of Dr. Don Deal, retired Band Director of Whitewater High School, and Griffin James, who is the current band director at Baraboo High School and a WHS grad.
This year, the Toys for Kids drive helped families in the Whitewater area. Children’s names were distributed to area churches and businesses for community members to pick up and buy gifts for. A special thanks is given to the First Congregational United Church of Christ, First English Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, for hosting the Toys for Kids drive in their facilities. The UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club would also like to thank the UW-Whitewater Student Optimists, who helped our members sort and wrap more than 300 presents on Monday, December 17. The gifts were distributed through the Whitewater Food Pantry.