December is an extremely busy time for Santa Claus but, despite his commitments, he still had time to visit the Pengethley Garden Centre's Grotto and Restaurant to maintain his pledge to help the Ross Lions raise funds for local charitable causes. The number of young children visiting the Grotto is increasing year on year and the total for 2009 was over 500 and a grand total of £1,500 was raised for the Lions Charity Funds which will be spent on local causes. Around 184 people had breakfast with Santa in the Restaurant; a good number of them being young children.
All the children not only had a chat with Santa in his Grotto, but received a present which went down very well. It was a delight to see the look of wonder on the faces of the children when they were ushered into the presence of Father Christmas but mums, dads and grandparents seemed to enjoy it even more, knowing that their youngsters were really excited and happy. One parent said they had taken their children to a Grotto in the Forest but it turned out to be a lady Santa and the children wanted to see a real Santa. To placate the children they continued on to Pengethley where their wish came true.
The 'Breakfast with Santa' is proving very popular as Santa visits all the tables, talking to the children and handing them presents. At one of the breakfasts there were three little Japanese girls, visiting their grandparents, who had never seen Santa before, and the look of sheer delight and wonder on their faces had to be seen to be believed. The youngest guest was not a visitor but Honor the daughter of Becky Watts, the Restaurant owner, about a year old, who was dressed up as a Reindeer. She went to three breakfasts and captivated everyone who saw her.
The Ross Lions Club is very grateful to Santa for including them in his very busy schedule and also Chris Taylor of the Pengethley Garden Centre who, with his staff, organised and provided the Grotto.