~Submitted by the Rotary Club of Bedford
The Bedford High School cafeteria was bustling with activity bright and early on Sunday morning, Dec. 11. After a three-year hiatus, the Rotary Club of Bedford held their annual holiday breakfast fundraiser for the 34th time! Formerly Breakfast with Santa, the event was broadened to include more than the beloved photos with Santa, hot pancake breakfast, crafts, and annual custom coloring book (download the coloring book here). This year, families also enjoyed a winter photo booth, many games of dreidel, cookie decorating, meeting Mrs. Claus, and as a special treat – live music by Bedford students through POMS (Patrons of Music Students).
The Winter Community Breakfast lived up to its name. Set up on Saturday afternoon was a breeze with a wide array of volunteers from the student population, as well as community members, transforming the cafeteria into a winter wonderland. Rotarians, Interactors (Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people), BHS and JGMS students, Scouts BSA Troop 194, and Girl Scout Troop 72147 showed up in full force throughout the weekend. Representatives from BEST/PTO and the Parents Diversity Council enthusiastically lent their support as well, leading activity tables on Sunday for all to enjoy.
Everyone worked together to achieve the overarching goal – to bring a cherished tradition back to Bedford while having an inclusive event welcoming all members of the growing and diverse Bedford community.
Bedford resident Nikki Taylor attended the event with her young family. She reported, “my husband and I grew up in Bedford and have been attending this event since we were small children. When we were little, we looked forward to it each year and have enjoyed sharing this community event with our children since our first child was born in 2016. It was heartwarming to see the community gather and see the smiles on everyone’s faces, including our children. There were a variety of activities for all ages and we appreciate and thank the many volunteers who make this event possible. While the event has evolved since we were little, it is still a magical experience and wonderful opportunity to gather as a community. We look forward to participating in this winter tradition for years to come!”
Wonderful local business sponsors partnered with the Bedford Rotary, providing lots of different activities and delicious food. Families had so much fun with the winter-themed photo booth sponsored by The Debbie Spencer Group. Middlesex Savings Bank sponsored the ever-adorable photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Craft tables were staffed and sponsored by Bedford Family Lawyer, Bedford Pediatrics, Mimi Henning and Diane Hughes of Barrett/Sotheby Realty, and Chestnut Dental. Breakfast items were generously provided by Flatbread Company, Ken’s NY Deli, Minuteman Diner, Pepper’s Grille, Starbucks, Stop & Shop, Wegmans, and US Foods.
The Bedford Rotary owes a debt of gratitude to the following fantastic people: BHS custodians Rion Foley, Dan Tyrell, and Rosanne Taddeo; BHS cafeteria staff Gail Hanon, Jane Higgins, and Kimberly Santos; and friends of the Bedford Rotary Mark Cieplinski, Briana Conserva, Kay Hamilton, Stephanie Jelloe, Kelly Malloy, Kim Marino, David Pantalone, Elena Pellegrino, Sharon Spaulding, Melissa Stephens, and Jenny Stewart.
Keeping with the Rotary International’s priority of protecting the environment, two very large bins of plant-based trays, bowls, cutlery, and straws, placemats, and food scraps were sent to Black Earth for composting. Leftover food items were donated to the Lowell Transitional Living Center and Middlesex Community College Food Pantries. Toothbrushes and toothpaste provided by Chestnut Dental were donated to Bedford Youth and Family Services.
Watch for information about upcoming community events – a Pollination Garden Information Session this winter, and the Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing Event on April 29. And, of course, save the date of Dec. 10, 2023, for the next Bedford Rotary Winter Community Breakfast!