Some of the kids visiting Santa at the Corvallis Masonic Temple looked a little askance at the furry green faced fellow in a matching red suit lurking near him.
“He’s OK,” Santa reassured the kids. “He’s reformed. Have you seen the movie?”
Santa was accompanied by the Grinch Saturday morning at the annual Breakfast with Santa event at the temple, which was put on by local members of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic-affiliated youth organization.
Whitney Hardin, a Philomath High School senior who organized the event, said it is intended as a fundraiser that benefits a different charity each year. The proceeds from this year’s event are going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Hardin estimated about 40 people attended the event, which was an increase over the event last year.
Hardin said for many of the families that attend the event it’s a tradition to come see Santa and have breakfast each year.
“Most of our customers are repeat customers.”
Hardin said about six or seven local girls worked to put on the event and a Rainbow Girls group from Eugene came up to help put it on in exchange for help with a holiday bazaar.
Hardin said for the girls involved in putting on the event, it teaches them social skills as they interact with strangers. She said planning for the event started getting serious in October and the girls arrived at 6:30 a.m. to begin preparation for the event, which started at 8 a.m.
Hardin, who hopes to split her time by working in retail and driving harvesters at farms after graduation, said she was pleased with the turnout for the event.
“I’m one of those people that love planning and being busy and I get a big dopamine rush from this,” she said.