Parks & Recreation And Newtown Rotary Merging Pancake Breakfast Efforts
It has long been the hope of Newtown Parks & Recreation and The Rotary Club of Newtown to combine their holiday breakfast events. Until this year, it was only a wish.
The opening earlier this year of Newtown Community Center is what allowed the two entities to combine efforts.
On Saturday, December 7, the two groups will combine Parks & Rec’s longstanding Breakfast with Santa and Rotary’s Pancake Breakfast into one Pancake Breakfast with Santa. The event will run from 7 am until noon in the new building at 8 Simpson Street.
Parks & Rec Director Amy Mangold, Parks & Rec Assistant Director-Recreation RoseAnn Reggiano, and Rotary Club member Alex Villamil were at the community center on November 20, conducting a planning meeting. They were joined by Lathrop School of Dance Director Tamra Saric and Lathrop instructor Julielle Topolski.
For the past 58 years, the Rotary Club has presented its breakfast event at Edmond Town Hall. Parks & Rec’s Breakfast with Santa was done at Newtown Middle School. The two events were often on the same morning, with overlapping hours, and less than a mile from each other.
Ms Mangold said its was space concerns that prevented a merger until now.
“We were always saying that once the community center opened, we wanted to partner,” she said last week. “The community center now offers the perfect opportunity to move.”
Ms Reggiano agreed.
“Partnerships help our community grow,” she said. “We’re very excited.”
Mr Villamil was also in agreement, saying the new larger location “makes more sense” than having two separate breakfast events.
As with the event, the menu is a combined offering. Fresh baked pancakes, Maple Craft Foods syrups (made in Sandy Hook, with multiple flavors), Butcher’s Best sausage, apple and orange juices, chocolate milk, tea, hot chocolate, and coffee from BD Provisions will all be served and covered by each ticket.
Breakfast also remains an all-you-can-eat event, Mr Villamil pointed out.
Cost is $8 for adults, and $4 for ages 10 and under.
Tickets are available in advance and will help organizers plan for food. Tickets can be purchased at the Parks & Rec office, now within Newtown Community Center, 8 Simpson Street, weekdays between 8 am and 4:30 pm.
They will also be available at the door.
Sandra Lyn Photography will be doing photos with Santa. A donation of $10 for the professional photo will benefit the Parks & Recreation Camp Scholarship Fund.
For those who decide to do breakfast and the photos with Santa, discounts will be offered on the combined prices: $2 will be taken off each adult breakfast ticket, and $1 will be taken off each child breakfast ticket.
An arts and crafts project will be offered as well.
Donations will also be accepted that morning for FAITH Food Pantry.
Live entertainment will again be part of the pancake breakfast. Dancers from Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet are scheduled to perform at 8:15, 9, and 9:45 am; Mad Science will present “Winter Wonderland” at 10:15, and Lathrop Dancers will close the stage with an 11:15 performance that will include an audience favorite.
“We will be doing ‘Hot Chocolate,’” Miss Tamra promised, mentioning a seasonal dance that is a favorite for dancers and their fans.
The Rotary Club is also hoping to continue one more tradition: Dr Robert Grossman, longtime Rotary Club member who has participated in every Newtown Rotary Pancake Breakfast to date, is again planning to be at this year’s event.
One thing that’s new this year: no more paper or plastic ware. Guests will be using plates, utensils, and cups that will be immediately washed and then used by another wave of guests.
Mr Villamil, who is also a member of Newtown Environmental Action Team (NEAT), said a team of NEAT volunteers will be handling dish washing duties.
“The event will be sustainable,” he said. “No plastic tablecloths, either. We will be using washable tablecloths.”
For additional information contact Newtown Parks & Rec at 203-270-4340.