Four Seasons Hotel Seattle would be our base camp for a short weekend getaway. In addition to taking in all the fun, family-friendly activities Seattle has to offer, I wanted to give back to the local community. When I heard that Four Seasons was hosting an inaugural Brunch with Santa—in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska & Washington — it seemed like the perfect opportunity to show my daughter Sydney the importance of giving.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska & Washington is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It has helped more than 4,600 local children through its wish-granting program. At brunch, President Barry McConnel, addressed a crowd of more than 250 people and told us that this year the chapter will grant 300 wishes. Brunch with Santa was part of Make-A-Wish’s “Season of Wishes.” For a tax-deductible donation, children, families, Wish Kids and parents gathered in the ballroom for a delicious brunch before Santa arrived. While in line to have our photo taken with Santa, I explained to Sydney that the artwork on display was from some of the Wish Kids. She especially liked “Delivering Joy” by Kaden.
“What Make-A-Wish does is give these kids, who are sick, their wishes,” I explained. She clasped her hands together to her chest and smiled, thinking of the possibilities. “All these people here are helping little kids like Kaden make their wishes come true,” she said.
Next to Santa, there were cheerful volunteers in three adjoining rooms filled with arts and crafts for all ages. Sydney eagerly went from table to table, taking her time to write a letter to Santa, creating a holiday card, making a Frosty the Snowman tree ornament, decorating her own holiday cookie and making a Jingle Bells necklace. After she visited all the crafts tables, we headed to our room for some much needed rest. In a few hours ART Restaurant’s A Chocolate Holiday buffet was going to start.
Earlier this year, ART Restaurant had partnered with Seattle author/illustrator of the Larry Gets Lost series John Skewes on a children’s activity book and menu. During the holidays, John and Larry become a part of the seasonal chocolate buffet in ART (Dec. 4, 11, and 18). Sydney goes to bed at least twice a week reading Larry Gets Lost in Seattle, so her eyes lit up at my proposition.
And she did have “all the chocolate” she could eat later that afternoon.
There were about a dozen different types of chocolate confections, from a Valrhona chocolate pudding (my favorite) to a Larry M&M bar (Sydney’s favorite). On her second trip, her plate was piled high with cotton candy dusted with cocoa, chocolate croquembouche and a triple chocolate mousse cake. The hot chocolate melted in my mouth and as I dived into her plate of chocolate goodness, I tried not to think about the effects of a chocolate-hyper kid. Although I am a chocolate lover, the best part was meeting John. He drew a personalized sketch of Larry for Sydney after a book reading. She was over the moon, up to her little ears in chocolate and she got to meet “Larry’s dad.”
Later I was thrilled to learn the brunch raised nearly $13,000 to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions in the Seattle community. It was so important to give the wish kids the opportunity to experience something joyful and create a sense of normalcy at a time of their greatest need. It was a great ending to a weekend of fun … and giving!
Read more about Seattle in Four Seasons Magazine.
Meg Paynor is the owner of Paynor PR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in luxury hospitality and lifestyle clientele, including Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. When she’s not hard at work, Meg enjoys traveling the world with her husband and young daughter.
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