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Food and fellowship at Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas

HermCasapao Gurnee (left) Cindy Mueller Lindenhurst serve customers Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas St. Patrick School Wadsworth. | Michelle LaVigne

Herma Casapao of Gurnee (left,) and Cindy Mueller of Lindenhurst serve customers at the Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas at St. Patrick School in Wadsworth. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media

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The patron saint of Greece, bakers and pawnbrokers, St. Nicholas is considered the origin of Santa Claus. His feast day is Dec. 6. He was born to wealthy Greek parents in the third century. He was religious from an early age. As a church bishop in Myra, an ancient town in modern day Turkey, St. Nicholas was said to have spent all of his wealth helping the poor. He is known for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in children’s shoes for those who left them out for him.

Source:, St. Patrick School

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Updated: February 1, 2013 1:54AM

Sunday was about good food, fellowship, and visiting with St. Nicholas at Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas at St. Patrick School in Wadsworth.

“It is a fund-raiser, so it does make money for the school, but more importantly, it’s fellowship. It’s parents getting together to socialize. It’s good for the kids and food for the families,” said St. Patrick School Principal Marcella Bosnak.

Proceeds support the school’s operating fund. There are 532 students in grades K-8 this year, plus 68 preschoolers.

Dorie Roth of Lindenhurst was among the 300-400 people to attend Sunday’s breakfast. Two of her children go to St. Patrick School.

“The kids get a kick out of it. I think it’s always a highlight. It’s also ideal for the first day of advent. We have a discussion about the holidays with the kids — it’s a nice kickoff to advent,” Roth said.

This year was the second year St. Nicholas came out for the school’s semi-annual pancake breakfast, according to Ginny Coulthard of Gurnee. Coulthard is in charge of the pancake breakfast.

“I think (the event) is really for the fellowship of the parish and the school. I think St. Nicholas draws the parish that has younger kids,” Coulthard said.

The school has a pancake breakfast in December and in late January during Catholic Schools Week.

They served 240 pounds of sausage, about 2,000 pancakes and more than 800 cups of coffee, according to Chad Coulthard, Ginny’s husband. A team of about 50 parent volunteers helped put the breakfast together, starting with set-up on Saturday, cooking and then cleaning up Sunday, he said.

The secret to serving good pancakes is to get the batter “just right,” Chad said.

“They’re terrific. They’re piping hot,” Chad said.

There was not a special secret to playing St. Nicholas. It was about being there for the kids, according to Warren High School sophomore Matt Moran. Moran of Gurnee is a St. Patrick School alumnus and attends St. Patrick Parish. His youth leader asked him to play St. Nicholas.

“I said I’d love to ... It’s an honor to play St. Nicholas,” Moran said. “I like seeing all the kids and putting smiles on their faces.”

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