Raising money for the Scouts

The holiday spirit was in evidence at a special breakfast with Santa, held at the New Utrecht Reformed Church on December 8, aimed at raising funds to help run programs for the Boy Scout Troop 20-Cub Scout Pack 20 throughout the year.

The holiday-decorated space, on 18th Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets, provided a fitting backdrop for characters such as Rudolph, Dora the Explorer, elves and Frosty the Snowman.

Mrs. Santa Claus, also known as Elaine Delaney, cubmaster for the troop, walked around the room, hugging and kissing all her “adopted kids,” the Boy Scouts who she said she loves to watch grow.

“Boy Scouting teaches the kids the right thing,” Delaney added, noting that the proceeds from the event help take them on overnight camping trips, and more.

Delaney has been a part of the annual Breakfast with Santa for the past 16 years; “I had brown hair when I started,” she joked. Both her sons are now Eagle Scouts, the highest rank attainable.

Susan Hanyen, vice-president of New Utrecht’s Consistory, said this event is meant “for kids,” adding that the real part of Christmas will take place on Saturday, December 15, when the outdoor living nativity at the church tells the story of Christmas Day. The real animals are back, this year, she added.

A French toast breakfast was served with sausage, juice and fresh fruit. Every child who attended got to take a picture with Santa, and received a gift. Crafts, face-painting and lots of activities kept the children on their toes.

Anthony Marra, nine, who lives in Staten Island, joined the Boy Scouts just two weeks ago. His mom, Kate, said that they have “better troops in Brooklyn,” which is why the newest member decided to take part. Marra’s grandfather and uncle were both scouts at one time, so he’s following the tradition. “Scouting is like a brotherhood,” the boy said.

The Saint Patrick fundraiser and the breakfast are the biggest money-makers of the year for the scouts. Scoutmaster Frank Maddalena said scouting “helps these kids find themselves; they won’t find it in school,” he concluded.

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