WAYNE, NJ – About three-hundred Wayne residents showed up for the Wayne PAL annual breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus and to help support Friends of Wayne Animals (FOWA) and the Onyx and Breezy Foundation.
Families began arriving before 9:00am, soon filling the lobby with an excited buzz as everyone knew Santa was coming to town. With a blare of sirens and flashing lights, the man of the hour arrived on the Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad Heavy Rescue Truck. The families in attendance spilled outside to greet Santa as he pulled in front of the PAL building.
Santa was escorted by his entourage of elves which were all members of the Wayne PAL cheerleading squad, who had just recently earned a trip to the cheerleading nationals competition in Disney World next year.
To screams and cheers, Santa made his way through the crowd of children, into the building and to “Santa’s Workshop,” a beautifully decorated area where he posed for pictures and greeted all the children one-by-one.
The Wayne PAL building was beautifully decorated for the holidays and included an amazing Christmas display, featuring toy trains winding along tracks through holiday scenes. Nearby, Mrs. Claus greeted the children and handed them candy canes before they made their way into the main room where breakfast waited.
“We’ve been doing this event for almost fifty years,” said Wayne PAL President Keith Heyman. “This is something we do every year as a way to give back to our members and the Wayne community.”
It was clearly appreciated, as smiles decorated every face in the room.
Across the hall, dogs and cats that were available for adoption from FOWA waited to hopefully meet their new families, and long tables displaying a huge array of holiday gifts for sale by the Onyx and Breezy Foundation.
“Early this year, during Wayne Cares Day, we organized a drive for the Wayne Animal Shelter and donated a bunch of needed items for them,” said Heyman. “So, in keeping with our theme in helping animals, we have FOWA featuring animals for adoption and the Onyx and Breezy Foundation.”
The Onyx & Breezy Foundation has been saving the lives of domestic animals for over fifteen years. The foundation was formed in 2004 by Mark and Wanda Shefts whose passion for animals led them to create this non-profit foundation, which assists animals in a variety of ways.
“We have all different types of gift items for sale for animals and people,” said Mark Shefts as he spread his arms to encompass all the goodies before him. “As with everything with the Onyx and Breezy Foundation, 100% of the proceeds go to helping animals.”
Children were happily petting and playing with the dogs that danced around their feet, tails wagging and eagerly licking faces. Every child was enamored with the adorable animals and it was easy to see the question in their eyes as they looked up to their parents’ faces: “Can we keep him?”
Lesh Mathias is with FOWA and said: “We are a home-based foster program for dogs and cats. No shelter.” He held the leashes for a ten-year-old Shitzu named buddy and a six-year-old beagle-terrier mix named Ellie, who drank in the attention and energy from the children.
There were crafts for children, a ninja demonstration from a local karate school, music, food, fun, friends and a festive holiday spirit.
The Wayne PAL brought us closer together and one day nearer to Christmas.