Interfaith Breakfast raises funds for Senior Services
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By John Reynolds
Posted Dec. 25, 2015 at 5:45 PM
Updated Dec 25, 2015 at 11:28 PM
People at the Temple B’rith Sholom Holiday Interfaith Breakfast were going the extra mile Friday to help senior citizens on Christmas.
Proceeds from the annual breakfast benefited Senior Services of Central Illinois. Organizers of the breakfast said many visitors were paying more than necessary for their meal so Senior Services would have extra money.
Sharon Star, coordinator of the breakfast, said the generosity was a great motivator for the volunteers at Temple B’rith Sholom, 1004 S. Fourth St.
“What we are finding this year is that a lot of people are saying, ‘Here’s the money for the breakfast and keep the change.’ People are being very generous this year, and we certainly appreciate it,” Star said.
The annual breakfast was originally put together by members of the temple because of the lack of dining options on Christmas Day. Later, they decided to open the breakfast up to the community and donate the proceeds to charity.
The Springfield Public Schools Foundation, Sojourn Shelter and Helping Hands are just a few of the organizations that have benefited from the breakfast over the years.
Rabbi Michael Datz said corporate sponsors underwrite the costs, which means proceeds from the ticket sales can go almost exclusively to the designated charity. The cost of the breakfast was $6 for adults.
“We usually try to find something local or small where the donation will be appreciated,” Datz said. “Senior Services has had some cutbacks in the state budget.”
About 400 people attended this year’s breakfast, which enabled the temple to raise about $2,500 for Senior Services.
Rose Moore, director of programming for Senior Services, said the money will be put to gooduse helping seniors.
“We are very appreciative. Thank you is not enough to say to them,” Moore said.
Friday marked the 12th year for the annual breakfast. A lot of the people lining up for scrambled eggs, turkey sausage and pancakes are regulars at the event.
“For a lot of people, they tell us this has become their Christmas morning tradition,” Datz said. “Some come because they want to be out and about and not much is open, and other people come because families are so scattered nowadays. For some people, this has become their Christmas morning family.”
Lowell and Eileen Royal have been coming to the breakfast for about six years.
The Springfield couple has Christmas mornings free because it’s hard for the entire family to get together Christmas Day. Their adult children have other family commitments with in-laws, which means it’s easier for the family to celebrate their own Christmas a little early or a few days after the holiday.