Boston Pizza and the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre are gearing up for the centre’s 13 annual Christmas Wish Breakfast next week.
CCCDC operations officer Vanessa Riplinger has been organizing the event for years, including its move to Boston Pizza last year.
Set up as a toy drive-style event, patrons schedule 30-minute blocks ahead of time and pay by donation of cash or toys, which has proved to be a successful and popular style for the community.
Riplinger said this year’s Christmas Breakfast will be happening Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 6:30 to 9 a.m.
In the past, the breakfast has attracted a wide variety of lakecity residents including local sports teams, businesses, families and individuals, all looking for a way to give back.
“Boston Pizza has been spectacular because Boston Pizza doesn’t do breakfast traditionally. The owners have kind of talked to their head office and all of that and jumped right on board,” Riplinger said.
Much like last year, the buffet style breakfast will feature scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and a selection of fruit. Riplinger praised the staff of the restaurant for stepping out of their comfort zone to create the meal from scratch as well as Boston Pizza owner Jason Ouimet for being willing to cook hundreds of breakfasts.
When it comes to the donation itself, Riplinger asks that people bring either a cash donation or an unwrapped toy. This allows them to organize and sort the presents for appropriate distribution without having to guess its contents. Riplinger said there is also a demand for more toys and presents suitable for teenagers and infants, explaining that they often use the cash donations to meet this demand.
“We’re trying to make sure all kids get a Christmas gift,” Riplinger said.
After the conclusion of the event, the presents and toys raised will be transported back to the CCCDC by the local RCMP, as they did last year. After the gifts are at the office Riplinger says they organize them for a shopping day where other child-based agencies come in and select suitable gifts for children in need.
“It’s been amazing. We’ve done it for 13 years and for 13 years Williams Lake has shown up in force and made sure that all kids get something at Christmas,” Riplinger praised.
“We’ve been really blessed because Williams Lake is such an amazing community because they come out strong, every year, for their kids.”
The event is hosted by the CCCDC in partnership with Boston Pizza and the GOAT Radio.
Ouimet said Boston Pizza came on board last year due to the needs following the 2017 wildfires, and they’re happy to continue hosting the event.
“The donations all stay local and we’re just helping out to get toys for the kids. There’s a need,” Ouimet said, noting in 2017 they served 700 breakfasts.
“It was a really nice event last year and we’re just happy to help out again.”
To reserve a table for the event contact the CCCDC at 250-392-4481 and hit 0 for the reception.