Annual fundraiser for Lakeland School Dec. 9

By Heather Ruenz

SLN staff

One sure sign for some that the holidays are fast approaching is the annual Waffles with Santa event at Lakeland School, set for Saturday, Dec. 9. This is the 17th year for the breakfast, sponsored by the Friends of Lakeland School.

Jeff Sonn, a longtime member of FOLS and organizer for the breakfast, said the annual event draws support from throughout the county including numerous businesses that donate.

He said while those stopping by for breakfast might also do so to hear the Lakeland School choir sing, or maybe bid on a silent auction item or two, it all begins with the waffles.

“The Belgium waffles are delicious, made with all natural eggs and butter and served hot and fresh off the waffle iron,” Sonn said.

Tracy Moate, Administrator and Director of Special Education for the county, said Sonn and the breakfast crew has earned the right to brag about the waffles.

“The waffles are the best. They’ve been doing this a long time and have it down to a science. The compliments we get from people include how good the waffles are,” Moate said.

While several people help pull the event off each year, Moate said Sonn and Joe Guido have put in a significant amount of time leading up to this year’s event to again make it a success.

“It’s a nice way to kick off the holiday season and spend some quality time with your family,” Moate said.

Waffles with Santa will be held 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 9 at Lakeland School, W3905 County Rd. NN, Elkhorn. Tickets for the breakfast (which includes waffles and toppings, sausage, juice and coffee) will be sold at the door as follows: $7 for those 10 years old and older; $6 for kids 5 to 9 years old; free for kids 4 and younger.

Photos with Santa will be available from 9:15 to 11 a.m. In addition to breakfast it will feature gift baskets, a silent auction, 50/50 raffles and craft vendors. The Lakeland School choir will perform at 9 and 10 a.m.


Brief history of FOLS

The Friends of Lakeland School is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation formed in May 2002 by four Lakeland School parents and Sheree L. Carlson, of Carlson and Associates in Lake Geneva, who serves as treasurer.

The Friends mission is to develop additional resources to enhance the educational and employment opportunities available for students at Lakeland School that transform the good will of citizens throughout Walworth County to improve these special children’s education allowing them to reach their full potential.

Sonn said FOLS provides resources to purchase educational and specialized therapeutic equipment often in ways that would otherwise remain beyond the resources of the school’s budget.

“We work hard to make sure the gifts help students,” he said, adding that over the past 15 years FOLS has purchased more than $200,000 worth of items to benefit the students at Lakeland School.

Donations for Friends of Lakeland School can be mailed to: FOLS, P.O. Box 1361, Lake Geneva, WI 53147.

For more information follow the Friends of Lakeland School on Facebook.


About Lakeland School

Walworth County is recognized as being the first rural county in the nation to demonstrate that it’s towns, villages and cities can cooperate in a cost efficient manner and share the cost associated with providing educational opportunities for children with disabilities.

The county’s long history and commitment of educational initiatives dates back to 1949 when then County Superintendent, Sheridan Ellsworth, asked for assistance from school administrators, parents and others active in the communities to help develop an effective rural approach to educate mentally handicapped students, referred today as cognitively disabled students.

Programs and facilities for students with special needs in the county have expanded from a leased basement in the Elkhorn VFW building – which was sufficient space to educate the 14 students who were first enrolled in September 1950 – to a full range of services available today.

Lakeland School is one option within that range of services, a large self-contained facility that serves the needs of approximately 275 Walworth County students with a wide range of special needs.

Students are placed in programs such as Lakeland School, based on an IEP team determination of need. Less restrictive, mainstream options are always considered prior to placement. Parents and other members of the IEP team are encouraged to explore all options to endorse the program and placement most appropriate for each student.

Today, Lakeland School offers a highly structured program offering significant modifications in curriculum, for students with disabilities 3 to 21 years of age.

Lakeland School has been operating at its new facility, W3905 County Rd. NN, Elkhorn, since September 2008.


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