'Breakfast with Santa' broadcast live on WJEJ-AM

December 22, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

WAYNESBORO, PA. ? Families gathered at the BPO Elks Lodge 731 in Waynesboro Saturday for "Breakfast with Santa" and the chance to talk live on the radio.

Broadcast at 10 a.m. on WJEJ-AM 1240, it was the second year Waynesboro resident John Shindledecker hosted "Breakfast with Santa."

Shindledecker first staged the radio show, called "Breakfast in Waynesboro," for WaynesboroFest 2006. It is based on Waynesboro native Tom Breneman's work in the 1940s radio show "Breakfast in Hollywood."

"I sort of study (Breneman) as a young man in vaudeville," Shindledecker said. "The main format of the show is interviewing the audience."

He went around the room, asking who wanted to be on the radio and was answered with children raising their hands.


Children such as 8-year-old Abigail Fuller of Waynesboro had a chance to say "Merry Christmas" on the radio.

The Christmas-themed show also featured singing from Claire Martin, 11, of Waynesboro; Kayleigh Smith, a senior at Waynesboro Area Senior High School; Madison Gober, 12, of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., and David Shader of Waynesboro. There also was entertainment from Santa Claus and NBC25 weatherman and WJEJ morning talk show host Lou Scally.

For the live audience, the show also featured a Boyds Bear giveaway and, of course, breakfast.

After the broadcast, a drawing was held to give away more toys, donated by local businesses and social clubs.

"It's a nice Christmas party for children in the area," said Shindledecker, who expected 150 people to attend the breakfast.

Dee Dee Dreyfus, who moved to Waynesboro in May, brought her mother, Marjorie Ruppenthal, and her daughter Angel, 9. Dreyfus said the three of them came to a similar event for Mother's Day.

"We had so much fun the last time that we decided to come back," she said. "Now it's like a little tradition for us."

"We like the radio show," Ruppenthal said. "We think Lou is funny."

"We like it because its family-oriented," Dreyfus said.

"I like the food," said Angel, described by her mom as a pancake-lover.

Erin Darrough came to the breakfast because her uncle Dave Shader was singing "When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter" on the radio show.

"We (also) brought the kids to see Santa Claus," Darrough said ? her daughter Isabelle, 5 months, and her friend's daughter Hope Smith, 2 1/2. "I've never seen (the radio show) before, but my uncle plays good music; he's a wonderful singer."

"There are four generations here today ? my mother and her mother and me and my baby," Darrough said.

Shindledecker presented the Lunch Place in Waynesboro with the "Good Neighbor Award" for its contributions to the community. It serves free lunches every day from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and also serves Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Lulu Baker, a 101-year-old Waynesboro resident, received a poinsettia.

"I was here a year ago (and) I think it's great," Baker said.

Baker said she was about 40 when Tom Breneman's show was on.

"She listens to WJEJ every morning," said Baker's daughter Marilyn Ryan. "She's in fairly good health for her age."

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