Spreading Joy and Cheer: A Recap of the Successful Breakfast with Santa Event Benefitting Toys for Tots

The holiday season is a time for spreading joy and generosity, and this year, our community came together in a heartwarming way to support a cause dear to our hearts. The recent Breakfast with Santa event, organized by AG Consulting turned out to be a tremendous success, not only in creating festive memories for families but also in making a meaningful contribution to the Toys for Tots Foundation. Our friends at the South County Independent were kind enough to pay us a visit on the day of the event …read on to see what they had to say below!

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The Village of South County Commons held its annual Breakfast With Santa event last weekend as families formed a line outside of Applebee’s Saturday morning to enjoy rare morning dining hours put on by the restaurant chain.

Resident Tom Webb expressed why his family was out on the Commons, bright and early.

‘The little man,” Webb said, who was giving his son, Oscar, a piggy-back ride. “He wants no part of it.”

At least, for that moment.

“S-A-N-T-A is coming,” Webb said.

Azure Cygler, who is from Narragansett was waiting in line with her daughter, Aviva.

What was on Azure’s mind was buttered pancakes.

Azure asked her daughter if she was most excited to see Santa.

“No,” Aviva said.

She was there for the breakfast.

“We’re big breakfast people,” Azure said. “(Santa) he adds the extra sweetness there. It’s festive, it’s a nice way to start the season.”

Ashley White has been attending the event with her son, Christian, every year since he was born.

Every winter, they look forward to the sleigh ride offered.

“The sleigh ride, (is my favorite part),” Christian said. “We get to go around the circle.”

Allison Gill, the event’s planner of over 10 years, said the breakfast at Applebee’s has always been popular and an effective way to get the locals out of bed and out on the town.

“I would say our biggest year was maybe over 400-425 breakfast in just the two hours,” Gill said. “So, they really put their head down and pump out pancakes … “Applebee’s doesn’t serve breakfast (normally), so they’re kind enough to open their doors in the morning.”

Pancakes, bacon, juice, and coffee were served to the attendees.

Santa stopped by the restaurant to greet people and take photos. Additionally, there was free balloon art for the children.

The Marines were also present at the event, collecting toys to benefit Toys For Tots.

Audrey’s Coffee House collected donations for Toys for Tots as well, and had live music playing at their establishment.

“The year before COVID was our largest year,” Gill sad. “And then unfortunately COVID happened and in 2020 we did what we called a Santa wave and we had Santa standing in the concert circle and we just had people drive by and wave to Santa. That was really all we could do.”

The sleigh rides around the commons were available after breakfast, from 9-11 a.m. The Tower Hill Fire Department drove Santa around the plaza, who was available for photos throughout the morning.

The Commons’ cinema held activities such as balloon art, photo booths, raffles, a caricature artist, and doughnuts from Rhode Island Guys Donuts.

The day was topped off with screenings of the Polar Express at All South County Luxury Cinemas.

“It’s a community event,” Gill said. “The community is at the commons all year long and I think this is just an opportunity to give back.”

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Event Planner:

Allison Gill