Posted on 18 December 2014 by La Habra Journal
By Yajira Perez
La Habra Journal
Twinkling white lights, Christmas garland hung, and red ribbons adorned Señor Campos & Tillie’s restaurant. They are busy preparing for a holiday season full of Christmas parties, including a special one on Dec. 13.
Breakfast time: Students from the Boys and Girls Club enjoy a hot fresh breakfast at Senor Campos during the restaurant’s annual toy giveaway for the children.
For the past 21 years, the restaurant has invited children from the Boys & Girls Club of La Habra to a breakfast and visit from Santa Claus. The children invited are members of the club ranging between the ages of 5 to 8 years old. After seating the 44 children for breakfast, Mark McGarvo, La Habra Boys and Girls club board member, led them in a prayer before their first bite. Next, the boys and girls dug into their eggs and chorizo with beans and rice. They sang, “jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way” as they finished their breakfast. The mood was set for the visit from Santa Claus. As the children sang the last of the lyrics, Santa walked in and helped them finish strong. There was gasps heard all around the room from the children. John and Tillie Campos, the previous restaurant owners, started the tradition more than two decades ago, but Tillie passed away and John sold the restaurant. However, Lulu Serrato, Suqui Garduno and Daniel Alvarez, the new owners of Señor Campos restaurant, wanted to keep up the tradition because they like to keep Tillie’s tradition alive. They took over the restaurant two years ago, and have not broken the breakfast tradition. This year the event happened to have landed on Tillie’s birthday. “Last week we were so busy with Christmas parties that we had to postpone the breakfast until this week,” Serrato said. She mentioned they like to have the event on the first week of December just like Tillie, but for some reason, it couldn’t happen this year.
“It couldn’t have gone any better though, today on Tillie’s birthday,” Garduno said.
The nice list: Santa was on hand to give each boy and girl a toy to go home with at Senor Campos during the restaurant’s annual toy giveaway for the children.
Campos and his family get to enjoy the smiles on kids’ faces when they are invited back for the holiday tradition. “Tillie always had a heart for the children,” Campos said. The children lined up, ready to sit on Santa’s lap. “Have you been a good little girl,” asked Santa. The kids were in awe and most simply nodded their heads trying to say yes. The boys were given a “rev-up” monster truck set and the girls were given a colorful backpack with supplies. As the kids moved down the line, Santa said goodbye until next year. The children waved goodbye with a glow in their eyes.
Mark Chavez, Boys & Girls Club executive director, and his staff know this wouldn’t be possible without Señor Campos restaurant. On a count of three, the children yelled out, “Thank you Señor Campos!”