Breakfast with St. Nick 2018


Breakfast with St. Nick 2018

Chris Edwards is St Nick.

It was our own Chris Edwards who, as Grand Knight, got together with Deborah Pearson about a dozen years ago to replace Holy Spirit’s Children’s Faith Formation Christmas luncheon with a Breakfast with St. Nick. And Chris began playing the role of St. Nick “full time” last year after brother Leo Mattingly was ready to finally pass the baton, or mitre.

Efrain Ochoa and Jesse Rodriguez on the serving line.
Allen Reitmeier and Keith Archer
Allen Reitmeier and Keith Archer preparing the eggs.

Elves abounded when this year’s iteration was held on Sunday, Dec. 9. More than 500 guests were served with dozens of toys donated for the Brighter Tomorrows shelter in Cedar Hill along with monetary donations of more than $1,100.

Dozens of brothers under the direction of James Smith, director of church activities prepared a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes, hash browns, casserole, bacon, sausage patties, biscuits and gravy.

Santa's helpers hard at work
Jim Richardson prepares pancakes.

The roll call of helpers: Keith and Mary Archer (plus Mary’s niece, Holly Patterson, who’s going through Holy Spirit’s RCIA program with them), John Balasa, Francisco Bernal, John Espree, Andy Goza (and wife Susan), Tom Greco, Gerald Jacob, Jeff Miller, Dan Murphy, Efrain Ochoa, Agustin Perez (plus wife Flora and daughter Joanne), Jesse Radillo, Jack Ramsden, Ken Rarick, Allen Reitmeier, Jim Richardson, Jim Russell (wife Mary directed the entertaining children’s choir once again), Frank Salazar, Dan Schneider, James Smith (and granddaughter Caroline) and Jim Stavinoha.

Chris learned early on not to be surprised at anything that the eager children might ask of St. Nick. His first “customer” this year began tugging on his cape before the festivities had begun, when Chris was talking to Andy Goza at the check-in table. The young man quietly asked, “Could I talk to you … over at the big chair?” Later on, another little boy asked for a Ferrari.

Chris Edwards does his best St. Nick pose.

Then there was the young lady whose request couldn’t be wrapped with ribbon and left under the tree. “She said, ‘I want a family,'” Chris recalled. He looked over at her mother, who confided that the girl’s father had recently walked out on them. Chris asked the youngster, “Would a hug help you?” And that’s what he did. Before the event ended, Chris was also able to pass along this episode along to Deborah and Father Eugene to follow up and assist the mother and child for Christmas.

“It’s always neat to interact with the kids,” Chris noted. “I get a lot out of it.”

Our 8157 St. Nicks present and past shared a moment during one of the council’s Lenten fish fries this year. Leo embraced his successor and told Chris: “Whatever you do, son, don’t shave.”

More than 500 guests were served with dozens of toys donated for the Brighter Tomorrows shelter in Cedar Hill along with monetary donations of more than $1,100.