By Jacob Mathias
The Higher Grounds Cafe kicked off their holiday season Saturday with a Marine Toys for Tots drive, vendor displays for christmas shopping and an appearance by the one and only Santa Claus.
This was the second Toys for Tots donation event held at Higher Grounds since it opened and owner Jacalyn Race said she plans on making it an annual happening from here on out. Higher grounds will continue to be a drop-off spot for toys throughout the holiday season.
Toys for Tots donations can be made until December 23.
“There’s always needs in the community,” said Race.
Race said Higher Grounds also rolled out its new line of gourmet candies for the season during the event which include turtles with homemade caramel, chocolate covered pretzels, barks and brittles. They also sell 35 different breads and baked goods throughout the year.
Last year they baked over 9,500 cookies for holiday orders.
This is the first year Santa made an appearance at Higher Grounds but he said he’ll be returning each year from now on. Children got their photographs taken with santa and were able to share their Christmas lists with him too.
“Santa is a big military supporter to the Marine’s Toys for Tots. Throughout the year Santa always sends some cash to Toys for Tots himself,” said Clause.
Visitors could also tend to their christmas shopping as Higher Grounds played host to vendors selling included Pampered Chef, Paparazzi Jewelry, Thirty-One Gifts, doTERRA Oils and Mary Kay.
Higher Grounds is located at 4231 8th St. S. in Wisconsin Rapids.
Local Toys for Tots drop-off sites:
Awards N’ More
Bardole & Wolfe CPAs S.C.
BMO Harris Bank
Bull’s Eye Credit Union
Central Wisconsin HBA
Check Into Cash
Edward Jones, Bob Ebben
Mid state Tech/ Skills USA
Mid-State International Trucks of Wisconsin
Nekoosa Port Edwards State Bank
Pine Ridge Assisted Living
Port Edwards State Bank
River Cities Bank
Rudolph Fire Department
Stoiber Health Care
Tri City Refrigeration
Valley Community Credit Union
Wisconsin Rapids City Employees
Wal Mart Wisconsin Rapids
Ed Jones, Bob Ebben
Kerry Ingredients Inc, Vesper