Pancakes and Santa pic

Christmas through a child’s eyes - Ashton Mims, 4, is captivated by Ol’ St. Nick who visited a group of children at Monkey Bottom Boys restaurant. She was joined by dozens of other children who enjoyed breakfast and a visit with Santa during a toy drive hosted by Dr. Michelle Butterworth.

Photo by Michaele Duke

A sleigh full of kids enjoyed pancakes and Santa Claus at Monkey Bottom Boys in Kingstree December 14, and it was all about giving. Dr. Michelle Butterworth created Kingstree Kids in 2011 as a fundraiser for Toys for Tots. The toys weren’t being distributed to local kids so Butterworth decided to make a change. She created a non-profit where all donations would stay local and now focuses on Foster kids and needy families. “We’re very proud,” said Butterworth of the turnout. “It’s growing stronger every year.”

The children enjoyed a hearty breakfast prepared by the Monkey Bottom Boys’ staff and Butterworth’s volunteers passed out ornaments to each child. Santa, of course, was ready to listen to each child divulge his or her Christmas list.

A portion of the profits will be used to purchase gifts for foster children. The non-profit also provides furniture, clothes, and school supplies among other items not only for foster kids but also for others in need. “Our focus is the kids but it’s also for needy families,” she said. Many items such as bicycles and monetary donations are provided by local industry and organizations.

Breakfast with Santa is Butterworth’s first and she is excited, considering the success of the inaugural event. “This will be an annual thing we can do,”           she said. “I think it will be fun for the kids and hopefully be a big cause.” Kingstree Kids is supported by a committee of volunteers who help organize the events each year.  Volunteers are always welcome. Anyone interested can call Dr. Butterworth at (843) 372-2202 or message her on social media.