Approximately 150 community members and sorority sisters gathered for the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s 40th annual Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 3 at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Campus.
BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – ‘Tis the season to be jolly with the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and their 40th annual Breakfast with Santa community holiday event held Saturday, Dec. 3 at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Campus.
Approximately 150 community members and sorority sisters gathered for the festivities dressed in their favorite holiday pajamas as they enjoyed a pancake breakfast, fun activities and gifts for children of all ages.
In her first year as president of the St. Petersburg Alumnae chapter, Gloria Flakes stated the breakfast is a community outreach that is an opportunity to celebrate the children.
“This indeed is a new era coming out of the pandemic,” she said. “I love the pancakes and pajamas theme because COVID-19 has kept us operating in pajamas in our home for the last few years. This event gives us an opportunity to come out and enjoy one another.”
The Breakfast with Santa community outreach event gives youth and families a great start to the holiday season. Participants in the festivities receive a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs and apple slices in addition to numerous chances to win toys and prizes and enjoy a visit with Santa Claus.
The family-oriented event provided an amusing morning full of games, gifts, arts and crafts monitored by the Delta Academy and Delta Gems, the middle and high school students affiliated with the sorority, and entertainment in a festive environment.
Each year, the children can tell a Black Santa Claus what they want for Christmas. Leander Lester, a member of the Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, loves playing the part of St. Nick.
“This is my third year being Santa Claus for Delta’s breakfast. I’ve enjoyed it every year. I love seeing the kids smile and receive presents. I will do it as often as they will have me,” said Lester.
Mrs. Claus, portrayed by Yvonne Alsup, 79, has made an appearance for the past 30 years. She enjoys pretending, so each year she gets to have fun with the children and see their eyes light up, wondering whether Mrs. Claus is real.
Eventgoer Terrika Burton Hobbs is always excited to attend the yearly event and bring her children to hang out with Santa.
“This is a beautiful event,” stated Hobbs. “Seeing all of these lovely African-American families and their children allows me to bring my kids out to mingle, socialize and have a good time. They were very excited to meet a Black Santa Claus.”
The spirit of Christmas is to give and be a blessing. Amber Woods was gifted tickets to the breakfast along with her five children from a teacher at one of her children’s schools, Mt. Zion Christian Academy.
“I’m always looking for an opportunity to spend time with all of my children together, and this was just a beautiful opportunity,” Woods explained. “It was a nice setup, delicious breakfast, wonderful toys and everybody’s dress nice. It is just a wonderful Christmas event. This means a lot to my kids and me, and I’m very glad the Delta’s put this on.”
The sorority sisters donated gifts and gift cards for drawings so each child would receive a present. Event chairperson, Franchon Dials, expressed gratitude to the committee and sorority sisters who put on the momentous event.
The 40th-anniversary breakfast ended with a pajama stroll parade led by Santa and Mrs. Claus as they left town to visit other boys and girls around the world.