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Waubonsie Valley event puts holidays in spotlight

Suzanne Baker~Sun-Times Media

Suzanne Baker~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 11, 2014 6:25AM



Six-year-old Noah Hendrickson of Oswego was on a mission. He rattled off his Christmas list as he sat on the lap of Santa Claus starting with a Minecraft foam iron sword and ending with a gift card to Game Stop.

“I’m not sure where he came up with that,” his dad said with a laugh.

Noah, like other kids who attended the Santa Breakfast hosted by the Business Professionals of America (BPA) group at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, was eager to take in all the activities from eating pancakes, playing games and crafting Christmas decorations to listening to holiday music.

In between the miniature golfing or getting their faces painted, children off all ages took a moment to whisper in Santa’s ear what they wanted for Christmas.

“I got a lot of iPod requests,” the jolly old elf said, adding other popular items were Princess Sofia dolls and laptops, obviously dependent on the age of the kid.

As guests dined in the school’s cafeteria, the orchestra from Still Middle School in Aurora entertained with a vast selection of festive music while parents snapped photos and secured video of the performance. The orchestra has played at the breakfast for the last few years, much to the delight of those in attendance who would clap loudly after each song.

The food got high ratings from Naperville’s Sahil Maini, 11, and his friend Aarav Batra, 7, who both gave two thumbs up to the pancakes and sausage. “They’re really good,” Sahil said.

While proceeds from the breakfast help fund student BPA trips to competitions in the spring and benefit the group’s charity, Special Olympics, the real purpose of the Santa Breakfast is community service, said BPA adviser Karen Leonard. BPA has hosted the holiday tradition for 25 years, Leonard said.

It was the first time Waubonsie Valley juniors and BPA students Megan Meyer and Alyssa Byczynski participated as volunteers. They played a game with children involving opening small gifts.

“The kids seem to really like it,” Megan said.

Megan, who wants to study accounting, and Alyssa, who plans to pursue a career in marketing, got involved with BPA to get a jump on learning skills needed to compete in a business environment and because it looks good on a college application.

Serving the community is just one of the added perks, they said.



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