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Mocha Moms bringing Santa to Applebees, Westbury

Gabby Shepard, 3, of Wheatley Heights and Carol

Gabby Shepard, 3, of Wheatley Heights and Carol Smith of Newark, Delaware, meet Santa at an event held by the Long Island chapter of Mocha Moms on Dec. 18, 2013. Credit: Noret Bazemore

The Long Island Mocha Moms are once again holding their annual “Breakfast with Mocha Santa,” taking place from 8 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 16 at Applebee’s Grill & Bar in Westbury.

All are welcome to attend, says Alicia Shepard of Wheatley Heights, a mom and board member of the Long Island chapter of Mocha Moms, a support group for mothers of color.

This year’s Santa sitting is an opportunity to help Long Islanders in need.

“We’re collecting clothing for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, so if you can bring new or gently used jackets or sweaters, that would be great,” says Shepard, “as well as new socks and underwear . . . toiletries would also be accepted.”

Children who attend will be able to take part in a scavenger hunt, and receive coloring and activity packs before meeting Mocha Santa, who — as you may notice — wears sunglasses when meeting kids because the lights in the restaurants are too bright. He’s used to the darkness of the North Pole, says Shepard.

Price of admission is $10.75 in advance, $15 at the door (children and active Mocha Moms members pay $7.50), with fees collected used to cover prices of Mocha Moms events. For more information, find Mocha Moms on Facebook, email or visit

Applebee’s Grill & Bar is located at 1300 Corporate Dr., Westbury. The phone number is 516-832-7700.

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