Bay Ridge Lawyers Breakfast with Santa has quickly become an annual tradition
When Margaret Stanton was president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers a year ago, she decided to try something different. Instead of hosting yet another holiday party for the bar association, she wanted to open it up for kids and the general public.
The idea that she came up with was Breakfast with Santa. Last year, the holiday event was held at the Fort Hamilton Army base and achieved immediate success. But Stanton didn’t know if that meant it would become a tradition, or if the bar association would merely go back to its traditional holiday party for lawyers.
“Margaret was just being humble,” said current President Joseph Vasile. “The truth is that this is a bigger success than any of us thought and there is no doubt that we will keep doing this as an association in the future. In fact, we may need to find an even bigger location.”
This past Saturday at Il Centro on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst, Vasile and the Bay Ridge Lawyers officially turned Breakfast with Santa into an annual tradition as approximately 100 people, including 60 kids, showed up to celebrate.
“There were plenty of arts and crafts for everyone to share, so the kids had a ball,” Vasile said. “And, of course, with Santa coming by everyone had a blast. We had a piñata, and all of the kids took turns knocking the piñata. The food was great as well.”
The event is open to the public — the bar association’s way to give back to the Bay Ridge and local community. It’s paid for by the bar’s annual sponsors and by some of its members who donate.
“Margaret Stanton, who is the mother of this event, has really spearheaded the entire beautiful occasion,” Vasile said. “If it wasn’t for the enthusiasm that she brings along with Joann Monaco, we wouldn’t have this wonderfully successful event. It’s their integrity and their commitment to put all of this together for the children that makes it happen.”
Members and guests also brought nearly 250 unwrapped toys, which were donated to the children of the soldiers stationed at the nearby Fort Hamilton Army Base. This type of gift was a part of the tradition from the old holiday parties, and it carried over to this event.
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