These days, even Santa Claus is taking no chances, as he explains to people who ask why he’s wearing a mask.

“Hey, I’m 900 years old,” said the venerable Mr. Claus, or at least the man portraying him, recently.

Santa served as the focal point for the Breakfast With Santa On the Go! event organized by Bethel Park Historical Society, with the help of several sponsors in the community.

On the morning of Dec. 12, vehicles lined up early so that youngsters could remain safely inside while greeting jolly ol’ St. Nick, giving him letters personally instead of sending them to the North Pole.

“Look at how excited the kids are,” historical society board member Lisa Jenkins said, displaying quite a bit of excitement, herself.

She was dressed for the occasion as a reindeer, and other event volunteers also suited up in holiday costumes. Appropriately enough for the year of COVID-19, Tim Moury, the society’s president, and treasurer Susie Dolinar both appeared as the perennial Dr. Seuss favorite The Grinch.

Secretary Bill Haberthur, the tallest of the day’s volunteers, was an elf.

“This is our fourth annual Breakfast With Santa, and obviously because of the pandemic, we had to do things a little differently,” he said about the change in format and departure from the usual venue, the Schoolhouse Arts and History Center on South Park Road.

“We were fortunate in that Joe Consolmagno and Schneider’s Dairy donated the breakfast, and our good friend Kim McKinney at South Park Shops coordinated to do the little treat bags,” Haberthur said, referencing the shopping center’s property manager. “Moe’s Southwest Grill gave $5 gift coupons so that the kids could actually have lunch, also. And then Panera put in a large cookie for us.

“It’s the community coming together, rallying to support people in a time of need during the pandemic.”

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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