Monday, April 15, 2024

Santa Surprises and Delights Children at Coronado Rotary Holiday Party

Santa made a surprise visit to the Coronado Cays Yacht Club (CCYC) on Wednesday, December 13, during Coronado Rotary’s annual holiday party, overjoying some of the cherubic children he’ll be visiting in town this coming weekend. Because calamities can and will occur if Santa is out of practice, his arrival was somewhat risky. That jolly ol’ soul, who’d not been flying since Christmas Eve last year, forgot to drop his tailhook and missed the first try at his rooftop runway. Reliable Rudolph came to the rescue, using a remote he keeps in case of emergencies, dropping the tailhook just in time on the second try.

Santa accompanied by Mrs. Claus surprised dozens of cherubic children at the Coronado Rotary Holiday Party, inviting every child to sit on his lap and receive an age-appropriate holiday gift. (Rotary Club of Coronado)

More than 180 guests attended this annual soiree that’s been a Coronado Rotary tradition for more than 70 years. The Coronado Rotary Chorale sang carols as holiday revelers arrived, and CHS CoSA musical theater student Addison Nesbitt sang pitch-perfect holiday tunes for the eager crowd awaiting St. Nick’s arrival. Children in attendance decorated festive reindeer cupcakes before splurging on the holiday fare prepared by CCYC chefs, and a lively balloon man roamed the room providing twisted balloon treasures to keep the kiddos engaged.

More importantly, retired Marine Colonel Mike Wastila, accompanied by a Marine Staff Sergeant and Navy Petty Officer first class from Miramar Air Station, came to collect the 500+ gifts donated to this event for the Toys for Tots program sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve. Now in its 76th year nationally, Toys for Tots distributes brand new toys to underprivileged children in the community with the goal of bringing the joy of Christmas and sending a message of hope to some of our less fortunate youngsters locally.

According to retired Colonel Wastila, who has been working with Coronado Rotary on this toy collection project for almost two decades, “I’ve been involved with Toys for Tots since 1996.” Astounded by the tables strewn with unwrapped gifts, he exclaimed, “Year after year I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of Coronado Rotary. This makes a difference in needy kids’ lives, for sure!”

Rotary Club of Coronado, through its Club Foundation, is a 501(c)3 non-profit. There are well over 46,000 clubs worldwide. Chartered in 1926, Coronado Rotary Club has more than 250 members and holds meetings weekly throughout the year, except during Thanksgiving week and the winter holiday season.

Rotary International was founded in 1905 and now has more than 1.5 million members worldwide. With the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary is one of the most philanthropic member-organizations in the world. Its primary areas of focus include promoting peace; fighting disease, particularly polio; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; supporting education; saving and enhancing the lives of mothers and children; growing economies; and protecting the environment.

For more information about Rotary Club of Coronado visit

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