Cold weather, warm hearts makes Santa smile at teen center event

The Family Pathways staff and volunteers get their moment to pose with Santa. From upper left are Bodie Moran; Charles Nahl; Nichole Holman; Rita Joyce; Don Lenhart III; Gina Lenhart; Kendra Holman; Carissa Vaillancourt; Tina Towle; Rebecca Rodriguez; Santa (friend of Dan Hoffman); Ashley Mitchell and Shane Vagts. Photos by Anne Thom

The Family Pathways staff and volunteers get their moment to pose with Santa. From upper left are Bodie Moran; Charles Nahl; Nichole Holman; Rita Joyce; Don Lenhart III; Gina Lenhart; Kendra Holman; Carissa Vaillancourt; Tina Towle; Rebecca Rodriguez; Santa (friend of Dan Hoffman); Ashley Mitchell and Shane Vagts. Photos by Anne Thom

Santa Claus arrived in the bitter cold in Stacy the morning of Dec. 7 to order up breakfast with the kids in the community. The Jolly Old Elf, a good friend of Stacy Lion Dan Hoffman, arrived by truck, having given the reindeer that weekend off so he could travel quietly. Santa appeared in Stacy at the invitation of Family Pathways Youth Services, lending his good name to a fundraiser for community teens.

The event featured a pancake breakfast at Rick Doyle Memorial Field, with money raised going to defray the cost of sending a number of kids to a lock-in event planned for Feb. 7, 2014, that will start at the North Branch Family Pathways Teen Center and end at the Forest Lake Family Pathways Teen Center.

Santa spent a generous amount of time seated near the Christmas tree while taking names, forgiving the naughty and congratulating the nice. Kids and adults on either list had their picture taken with him.

Among the nice were the several teen volunteers who rolled out of bed at 6:30 a.m. to help with the event and the members of the Stacy Lions Club.

Kendra (left) and Nichole Holman both helped out with the event and had a chance to enjoy a break together.

Kendra (left) and Nichole Holman both helped out with the event and had a chance to enjoy a break together.

Family Pathways Youth Services Coordinator Don Lenhart III told the Post Review this is the third year for the Teen Center fundraiser, and that the breakfast is supported by the generosity of the Stacy Lions Club.

“They donated everything,” Lenhart said.

Stacy Lions, Jerry Schroeder, Bruce Jaworski, Bill Schmidt, Jim Berneche and Dan Hoffman, Jr. handled cooking duties in the newly rebuilt Doyle Field building kitchen. Schroeder credited the community for the $60,000 renovation that made the event possible and the pre-Christmas stop attractive to Santa, “Thanks to the public for their help in paying for it,” Schroeder said. “These folks will not be seeing coal in their stocking this year.”

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