Even with social distancing requirements in place, families and children of all ages were still able to visit with Santa Claus at Miller’s Family Farm in North Attleboro on Sunday morning.
The fourth annual Sundaes With Santa, which Attleboro resident Stacey Beal had usually held at Attleboro Farm & Garden Supply, had to shift its location to an outdoor venue due to coronavirus regulations.
Beal, whose 6-year-old son Wesley underwent a 12-hour surgery for a brain tumor on Christmas Eve 2015, donates the proceeds from her annual event to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
This year, a $25 donation needed to be prepaid online before attending the contact-free event as part of Beal’s pandemic safety precautions.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, she wanted to make the event possible.
“I think it’s still a nice event,” Beal said. “With all the social distancing, we can still hold it outside in a safe way.”
With 80 families attending, the event was sold out — a testament to Beal’s continuous fundraising for the fight against childhood cancer.
“People aren’t coming just because of Wesley; they’re coming for the cause,” Beal said.
The line of waiting cars stretched to the Millers’ Family Farm’s greenhouse as families drove to the rear of the property for their socially-distant photos with Santa Claus.
While face masks were required, the family members could remove them briefly as photographer Jamie Harrington snapped away.
With the children standing by a red tractor from the farm, and a Christmas tree to their left next to Santa, who sat in his chair, the event was still an enjoyable one, even with the pandemic, those in attendance said.
The different sort of opportunity to meet Santa with the holidays around the corner worked well for Kimberly Masinda’s 1 1/2 year-old son Connor, who is at high-risk for the coronavirus.
“We honestly didn’t think he’d get to see Santa this year,” said Masinda, an Attleboro resident. “When we heard about the event, we signed up immediately. It’s a cause we would want to support anyway.”
In addition to the farm donating the use of its space and Harrington giving of his time, Bliss Bros. Dairy donated 500 free ice cream coupons for families attending the event.