Meridian HealthCare’s “Breakfast with Santa” — a 25-Year Holiday Tradition for Kids and Families in our Valley

YOUNGSTOWN — Hundreds of children, newborn–10, who otherwise might not have an opportunity to be part of a positive holiday event, enjoyed some holiday cheer Saturday thanks to Meridian HealthCare’s annual Breakfast with Santa event.

Student volunteers from several area schools who are members of the Meridian-sponsored PANDA Leaders Club collected toys to distribute to the youngsters via the PANDA Leaders Club Giving Tree event. They also helped serve a free breakfast, led holiday craft events, and coordinated photos with Santa at the Breakfast with Santa event, which took place from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 9th at the Downtown YMCA.

The children who were invited to Breakfast with Santa are clients of the many area non-profit social service agencies who work with Meridian. PANDA Leaders Club members are students at area middle schools and high schools — part of a program that encourages young people to make positive choices in their lives while developing plans to deal with issues facing young people today.

Students from various local Mahoning and Trumbull County schools including Lowellville, Niles Middle School, Poland Middle School, Struthers, Boardman Glenwood Middle School, and Boardman Center Intermediate School participated in this year’s PANDA Leaders Club Giving Tree event — collecting over 200 presents at their schools. Meridian employees also donated gifts. Any presents that remain after this year’s event will be distributed to children in various Meridian HealthCare programs and other donation programs throughout the Mahoning Valley.

This year The Hidden Cafe donated a hot breakfast for all attendees including French toast casserole, potatoes, eggs, and sausage. Other local businesses who have also contributed include: Giant Eagle – Boardman, Austintown, Canfield and Poland locations, Struthers IGA, Arby’s in Austintown, and Taco Bell – Boardman.

Meridian HealthCare has been sponsoring the Breakfast with Santa event for over 25 years.