ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Little girls in Santa hats charged down the hallway, smiling, armed with candy canes. Young boys stopped the big penguin for high-fives and hugs.
"I love to see the kids smile," said Lori Hudson, an honorary Hartsdale Rotarian, who handed the children snowman picture frames in the multi-purpose center at Anthony F. Veteran Park.
At Saturday morning's "Breakfast with Santa," children and parents donned red and white clothes, and dined on pancakes to the sounds of Christmas carols as they waited to have their picture taken with Santa Claus.
"The children are so excited," said town councilwoman Diana Juettner. "We wanted to do something for the community. And it's a fun event for families."
John Lucasey, deputy commissioner of the parks and recreation department, was in the penguin suit, making children giggle as he waved and stomped his feet. The parks department and the Hartsdale Rotary Club organized and funded the event as a way for families to interact with their neighbors while enjoying the Christmas season.
"It's really a community effort," said P.J. Murphy. "And grandparents came so it was an intergenerational event. It's been a really community effort to put this event on, which is nice to see. It's in the holiday spirit."
The sold-out event raised nearly $500, which will be donated to the Greenburgh Nature Center to build an outdoor playground.