HAMLET — More than 120 children had the opportunity to meet Santa and fill their bellies Saturday morning at the Hamlet Fire Department.
The annual Breakfast with Santa event — a partnership between the Richmond Service League and the Hamlet Fire Department — serves as a fundraiser for Toys for Tots.
This weekend marked the 25th year of the event, according to Dena Cook.
Both organizations worked together cooking the pancakes, bacon and sausage for the morning meal and serving it up to the families who came.
After eating in the department’s engine bay, the kids stood in line to meet Santa, who was in the passenger side of a fire truck.
After hearing what they wanted for Christmas, Santa handed each child a large coloring book. The children then posed for a photo with St. Nick and his helpers. Those photos, along with a letter from Santa, will be sent to the kids before Christmas.
Cook said all the money raised goes to buy presents for Toys for Tots and those gifts go to children in Richmond County.
“Usually we have three boxes filled up and toys all around it,” Cook said.
Wayne Crank, commandant of Marine Corps League Detachment 1252, said toys from last year are currently being distributed and this year’s boxes will be collected Dec. 22.
Crank said local churches are a big help, with some donating 20-25 boxes each.
Raffle tickets were sold for a drawing for two bicycles following the tree-lighting ceremony in Ellerbe Friday evening.
Sheriff Mark Gulledge drew the names from a box — with one of the winners being Rep. Ben Moss.
Toys for Tots donation boxes are at locations across the county.