By Dedra Cordle
Santa Claus is coming to town a bit earlier than expected.
On Dec. 7, the magical man from the North Pole will be making a special stop at the Pleasant Township fire station for a meet-and-greet and a bite to eat.
Since the Pleasant Township firefighters have been preparing for his visit for quite some time, they realized they have plenty of food to go around. Due to this overabundance, they are inviting the community to come and join them as they have Breakfast with Santa.
A complete breakfast will be provided for those early risers, pancake lovers and Santa fans at no cost to the community.
There will also be photo opportunities with Santa, goodie bags and entertainment provided by the Pleasant Township and Jackson Township fire departments.
This will mark the second time Santa Claus has made a special visit to the fire station. He was so impressed by the turnout and the excitement his presence brought last year that he and his firefighter friends have been wondering whether to make Breakfast with Santa an annual event.
“We would love to see that happen and for this to grow even bigger,” said firefighter and event organizer Ryan Wihl.
According to Wihl, last year’s Breakfast with Santa brought more than 200 residents to the station. He admitted they were a little overwhelmed by the popularity of the first-time event.
“We ran out of food and had to send runners out to get more at the local grocery store,” he said.
They had even thought the smaller side of their medic bay would be enough to contain the breakfast-goers but soon found that to be inaccurate.
Wihl said he believed this year’s event would go more smoothly.
“We lived and learned and we’ll definitely be using the larger side,” he said.
Township trustee Ed Sheets was the person who initially thought of bringing Breakfast with Santa to the fire department. Upon his retirement at the fire department, he approached the union members and fire chief Jay Noojin about his idea and they readily agreed to it.
“This is just our way of giving something back to the community,” Sheets said.
Wihl shared a similar sentiment.
“This was a very positive experience both for us and the community,” he said. “It helped bring everybody together and it made the kids extremely happy.”
Breakfast with Santa will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 7 at the Pleasant Township Fire Department, 5373 Norton Road in Grove City. While the event is free, donations to the fund next year’s Breakfast with Santa are welcomed.