The 4-year-old had an opportunity to share her wishes with another world traveler named Mr. Claus Saturday during the Miss Smithsburg Scholarship Organization’s Breakfast with Santa.
John Kirkendall and Montserrat Plaia of Smithsburg took Irena and her 19-month-old sister, Nina, to the breakfast at the Washington County Free Library in Smithsburg.
“It was fun and relaxed. We loved it,” Plaia said. “The stories, the music, the right ages, right everything. It was a great service to the community for sure.”
Tina Stephens, director of the two-year-old scholarship organization, said young women who participate in its programs are required to perform community service.
“I beat feet on the street for college tuition for these girls and they give back to this community,” she said.
Stephens said Miss Smithsburg 2012 Lindsay Karroll presented her with a list of ideas for activities and events she aspired to see through during her tenure, the Breakfast with Santa among them.
“She sat down and said, ‘This is what I want to do,’” Stephens said.
Karroll, 23, is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University and teaches high school English at Broadfording Christian Academy. She was raised in Smithsburg since she was 3 and felt compelled to serve there, she said.
“Before we had the pageant in Smithsburg, I was Miss Cumberland. When I found out we were having a competition in Smithsburg, I was all about serving where I’ve grown up. It’s great to have a program in my own community,” Karroll said.
Event volunteer Andrew Stephens said 40 children were registered for the breakfast, which included story time with Mrs. Claus, singing with jingle bell accompaniment, a pancake breakfast and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Local businesses donated to the breakfast and families attended for free.
Karroll said she believed the event would encourage literacy while promoting the Miss Smithsburg organization.
Wendy Kane of Waynesboro, Pa., who took her daughter, Lily, 4, said she was amazed that the event was free. She said breakfast was delicious and the activities were “great for the kids.” Lily spoke with Santa about getting some new blocks, a new bear and some lollipops.
Lorrie Trader of Smithsburg said she and her sister, Carrie Rejonis, also of Smithsburg, signed up their families for the event during the tree lighting and carriage rides at Veterans Park earlier in the month. Spruced up in their holiday best, Trader’s children, Carson, 6 months, and Mackenzie, 4, posed with their cousins for a festive group photo with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
Trader’s nephew, Dalton Rajonis Davis, 9, put in an order for an Xbox 360 and some paper airplanes, while Mackenzie requested Lalaloopsy dolls. Cameron Rejonis, 8, said he didn’t need to tell Santa what he was hoping for.
“My list is up at the North Pole,” he said.