More than 500 children and their families got their holiday spirit jump-started by attending the 5th annual Breakfast with Santa, benefiting Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
It was the largest-attended event in its brief history and raised well over $30,000, according to organizers.
“At Akron Children’s, we care for kids, but the care we provide is focused on the entire family,” said JoAnn Stock, senior director, Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This event is one where the entire community is invited to attend, and we’re thankful for the great turnout and outstanding sponsor support from local businesses.”
Guests enjoyed a buffet breakfast, mascot parade, chance auction, goodie bag of gifts, a dance floor, crafts and games, and a visit from Santa.
“I’m interested in making memories with my children,” said Katrina Harris of Boardman, who was there with her two daughters and a niece. “I want them to remember that childhood is a special time where they have no worries, only hopes and dreams.”
Heidi Hoffman of Austintown brought her 5-year-old-twins, who spent 2 months in the Akron Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after they were born.
“The NICU nurses are like angels,” she said. “They step in to be like parents when we’re not able to be there. All 4 of our kids have used Akron Children’s, and we love the care they get. Anything to support them, we will do.”
Grace Wakulchik, president of Akron Children’s, welcomed the sold-out crowd of 540 at The Georgetown in Boardman with a brief update about the hospital. Local media personality Jennifer Brindisi thanked a long list of sponsors, including presenting sponsor Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC and event sponsors Baird Brothers Sawmill and Diamond Steel Construction.
Representatives from Dunkin’ Donuts presented the hospital with a check for $32,500 raised through its Miracles for Munchkins promotion.