Santa (Peter Williams) sits with siblings Hanna (left) and Jude Rancourt at the White Rock Firefighters’s 2016 Breakfast with Santa. The annual event is organized by Local 2407 as a fundraiser for the White Rock Firefighters Charity Association, which benefits local charities as well as the Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fun. (File photo)

White Rock firefighters prep for annual Christmas brekkie

Crew to host Breakfast with Santa at Pacific Avenue hall on Dec. 1

James Davison remembers White Rock firefighters got more than they bargained for when they hosted their first-ever Breakfast with Santa event more than two decades ago.

Expecting to serve pancakes and sausages fresh off the firehall grill to 100 or so people, they were taken off-guard – to put it lightly – by a massive turnout that, by the end of the morning, numbered closer to 600.

“We weren’t really prepared for what we were getting into,” Davison said Friday, chuckling at the memory of the crew members having to scramble to purchase more of everything on the menu in order to accommodate the seemingly endless quest for the fare.

It was “a little bit chaotic,” he said.

Fortunately, the experience didn’t deter the firefighters from the festive effort to bolster their charitable society’s fundraising, which benefits local projects and initiatives as well as the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund.

READ MORE: White Rock firefighters set for annual Breakfast with Santa

It did, however, inspire them to get “a little better” at the task with each passing year. They added grills to ensure more food could be cooked at one time, and adjusted the quantity column on the grocery list to accommodate a crowd that, last year, feasted on around 800 breakfasts.

“That’s a lot of pancakes,” Davison said. “The guys get on the grill around 6 a.m.”

This year, Davison says the Local 2407 crew will be firing up the fun for the 23rd year this coming Saturday (Dec. 1).

Those who have made a tradition of the occasion – which many have, Davison noted – know the routine: breakfast is to served from 8 a.m. to noon (the firehall is typically packed by 8:20 a.m., Davison said), Santa will be on hand for photos (he’s scheduled to arrive at 8:30 a.m.) and there’ll be a firehall-themed gingerbread house up for raffle.

They’ll also welcome donations of new, unwrapped toys for local kids.

The only slight variation for 2018 is an increase in the cost of breakfast, to $5 for kids (from $3) and $7 for adults (from $5).

Davison said the increase is the first in “about 20 years,” and that the difference will help both with the costs of hosting the event, as well as in boosting the amount raised, he said.

The firehall is located at 15315 Pacific Ave.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Firefighter Mike Passas with his daughter Nova at the 2017 Breakfast with Santa. (Jennifer Findlay Photography photo)

The firefighters’ annual Breakfast with Santa, held at the Pacific Avenue firehall, is always popular. (File photo)

Just Posted

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read