“He’s here, he’s here,” shouted dozens of youngsters as they stood on the second-floor deck looking out into the basin. “Santa Claus, Santa Claus.”
All eyes were glued on the sail boat circling the basin before it made landfall on the south side of the outer dock. Dressed in an elegant Santa Claus costume, Greg Jones waved to the kids as he exited the boat that was captained by its owner Greg Morash and his assistant, Dave Collins.
It was a thrilling moment for the more than forty youngsters as well as Commodore Phyllis Ibbotson and the board members since this was the first time in thirteen years that a Christmas Party for the young was held at the club. Our new building provided the space and the warmth needed for this event.
Activities under the leadership of Meredith Collins and Jenn Viveiros and Jen Morash, co-chairs began with kids’ bingo on the lower level. Phil Viveiros and his son, Jack, called the numbers to the attentive boys and girls. Those who did not participate played ping pong inside or catch on the rear lawn. A few of the young boys decided to use the bingo markers for face painting!
Pizza from Little Caesars’ was delivered at 2:30 pm and consumed before 2:45 pm. Many of the Sail Training moms volunteered their services as did two instructors, Emma Wright and Owen Reuther. Activities moved to the second floor where Patricia Collins gathered the youngsters in front of the fireplace. Pat sat in a red cushioned chair between the brightly lit fireplace and the brightly lit Christmas Tree. Each child sipped a cup of hot chocolate containing a soft marshmallow. For over an hour she captured their attention as she read The Polar Express. Pat presented each child with a gold bell ornament.
And then it was time for the arrival of Santa. Cheers greeted him from the time he left the boat, walked along the dock and up the stairs. Once inside he took his seat besides the well decorated Christmas Tree. When each of the youngsters sat on Santa’s lap, he gave them a large cookie that was decorated with a blue anchor on a white background. Maida VanDale made these magnificently looking cookies which, I’m sure, tasted splendidly. (I didn’t sit on Santa’s lap, so I never received a cookie!)
Christmas Carols were sung, Pat read the Most Perfect Snowman, Owen played Santa Says and I let every child pick a toy from my Summer Treasure Chest as they left for the day.
They took home with them the memories of sharing Christmas Joy with their summer companions and will sleep well tonight with the image of Santa riding the waves of the river as he brought Christmas cheer to all.
And to all, a good night and a Merry Christmas! Jim Rogers