Brunch With Santa Gets its Wish

By Beacon Staff

Whether the economy is strong or weak, first time charitable events during the Christmas season are always a guessing game.

Judging from community’s response to this year’s inaugural Brunch with Santa, the Rotary Club of Columbia Falls has a tradition on their hands, as between 300 and 400 parents, kids, grandparents and supporters took part in the festivities last Saturday at Columbia Falls Junior High School.

The brunch with silent auction included photos with Santa and entertainment by Karen Ulmer’s high school jazz program, as well as instrumental Christmas music by Karla West & John Goodrich of Whitefish. Saturday’s event was a Rotary Club of Columbia Falls fundraiser for the Club’s local projects in 2009, particularly their support of a new evening teen program at the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia Falls.

Boys and Girls Club of Glacier Country Executive Director Alan Sempf attended the event with his children, noting “We greatly appreciate Rotary and the Columbia Falls community for their support. I’m excited to get a teen program going that we can build upon in Columbia Falls.”

The evening teen program is a nationally chartered program from the Boys and Girls club called Keystone. Keystone teen clubs are currently active in Boys and Girls Club locations in Kalispell and Evergreen. You can learn more about the Boys and Girls Club of Glacier Country at their website or by calling the Club at 752-5440.

2009-2010 President-elect Ron Nash of the Rotary Club of Columbia Falls indicated that the Club received more than 60 donations of auction items from individuals and business owners across the valley, as well as cash and food donations from many businesses. Nash indicated that Rotary deeply appreciated everyone’s generosity, and he was particularly thankful for food donations provided by the Nite Owl, Cimarron Catering, KFC, Las Caporales, Laurie’s Deli, Phyggs Deli, The Bean Hive, and Pepsi of Kalispell.

The Rotary Club of Columbia Falls meets at the Back Room of the Nite Owl on Wednesdays at noon, guests and prospective new members are welcome.