Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Beach Firefighters Association donate record funds from charity breakfast

The Laguna Beach Firefighters Association and the Sawdust Art Festival presented The Exchange Club of Laguna Beach with proceeds raised from Breakfast with Santa, a partnership between the art festival and fire department that is held in December during Winter Fantasy.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

(L-R) Diane Chesley, Tom Padden, James Lin and son, Connie Burlin, Sande St. John, Bob Lively, Matt Rolfe and Brad Schlichting

Sawdust Art Festival and the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association joined forces for the third consecutive year to host the sold-out charitable event, which saw local firefighters donning their aprons to cook up a delicious pancake breakfast, while Santa Claus made a special appearance, spreading joy and holiday cheer among 200 attendees of all ages.

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Courtesy of Sawdust Festival

Local firefighters cook up annual breakfast in December during Winter Fantasy

“Breakfast with Santa has become a cherished tradition in our community, and we are thrilled to see it grow year after year,” remarked Tom Hartmann, Sawdust Art Festival’s general manager. “The overwhelming support from our guests and the dedication of our partners at the fire department truly make this event special.”

The firefighters were equally enthusiastic about their involvement in the event. “We (local 3684) are always excited to partner with the Sawdust Art Festival to put together such an awesome event such as Breakfast with Santa. The great event for the community, coupled with being able to donate the funds to a great cause, is a double win,” shared LBFD Captain Matt Rolfe.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

(L-R) Diane Chesley, Bob Lively and Sande St. John thank Fire Captain Matt Rolfe

The highlight of the event was the announcement of the record-breaking funds raised, 100% of which will benefit the Exchange Club of Laguna Beach, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to inspire communities to become better places to live. The nonprofit organization has served the community for 113 years, as one of the oldest running nonprofits in Orange County. The Exchange Club’s National Project is the prevention of child abuse and local programs in Americanism, Community Service, and the support of all youth programs.

Reflecting on the impact of the donation, Exchange Club representative and beloved local Sande St. John expressed gratitude, stating, “We are very grateful to receive this donation, and happy it has to do with pancakes! We will be celebrating Skipper Carrillo in the very near future. Thank you very much. You are all appreciated!”

The success of Breakfast with Santa underscores the unwavering spirit of camaraderie that defines Laguna Beach. The Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Beach Firefighters Association and the Exchange Club of Laguna Beach extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to making the event a resounding success.

For more information on the Sawdust Festival, go to https://sawdustartfestival.org/.


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