The annual Breakfast with Santa fund raiser attracted hundreds to the middle school Saturday morning to enjoy a freshly cooked meal, line up for pictures with Santa, win door prizes and enjoy live music from the middle and high school bands.
“It’s the biggest event we do and it takes the most work,” said Jeremy Pietrowski of Baker County Friends of the Instrumental Arts, the nonprofit which puts on the event, now in its seventh year.
“There’s a lot of volunteer hours and a lot of organization that goes into this,” said Mr. Pietrowski.
The work paid off.
Organizers estimated there was 475 attendees, a record for the benefit which raised about $1000 this year.
The friends group will be requesting wish lists from the middle and high schools as well as Keller Intermediate to determine how the money’s spent, said treasurer Kim Pietrowski.
More than 50 volunteers, including students, the nonprofit’s board members and other adults, helped make the day a success.
Following breakfast and the photo opportunity with jolly ol’ Saint Nick, played by Vinnie Ferreira, guests packed the auditorium to hear the bands.
The group from BCHS and led by conductor Michael Warren performed holiday classics like A Holly Jolly Christmas by John Edmondson, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Johnny Marks and arranged by Jerry Nowak, as well as themes from The Nutcracker by P.I. Tchaikowsk and arranged by Ed Huckeby, among others.
After a duet on the oboe by Westside Elementary music teacher Deborah Fortuna and a former student of hers, Alexandra Oakes, the middle school band took the stage.
They played two numbers under the direction of conductor Heather Davidson: Jingle Bell Rock by Joe Beal and Jim Booth, and arranged by John Edmondson, and Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson and arranged by Paul Cook.
For more information about Baker County Friends of the Instrumental Arts, please www.bcfia.org. See www.bakercountypress.com for more photos and video from the event.