Jeff Breault is a businessman who wears many hats.
In addition to advising clients on money, the Carey, Thomas, Hoover & Breault investment adviser backs a number of businesses and owns a liquor store, R&J Discount Liquor near Douglas and Hillside.
This time of year, Breault puts on his Santa hat and supports the annual Christmas Express music show at the Orpheum, which musician Joe Sauer started seven years ago.
“We had been a sponsor in year one,” Breault said.
He says Sauer came to him for suggestions on moving the show forward and finding a charity to support.
“So I said, ‘I will help you, and I will have the charity.’”
Breault is a Shriner, and proceeds from this Saturday’s show will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.
He says Sauer “takes care of everything on the stage, and I take care of everything else.”
The show originally was supposed to be the following weekend.
“But there’s this basketball team in town, and they didn’t call me,” Breault said, joking about a Shockers game next week.
“Actually, I prefer it on this Saturday.”
The show starts at 7 p.m.
“When everyone’s waking up from their tryptophan nap, this is the place to go.”
Q. Why did you want the show to benefit the Shriners?
A. I wanted to tell the story, get the story out to Wichita about Shriners Hospitals and more importantly what Shriners locally do in transporting kids from this area to our hospital.
Q. How did you become a Shriner 25 years ago?
A. I came to Wichita and met a gentleman who said, “You should be a Shriner. There’s a lot of good guys there.” … I met some of the best friends in the world through being a Shriner. … “It’s fun with a purpose” is the motto. Everyone sees the parades and the guys in the funny hats, but our real purpose for being is being a fraternity of men. It has a tremendous history to the dawn of our nation. … Every Shriner is a Mason.
Q. What is the Christmas Express show?
A. Christmas Express is not your ordinary Christmas concert. We have some unbelievable performers this year. Over 40 musicians and singers in the show. … We have rock, blues, gospel – something for everyone. … I want people to understand that they don’t have to dress up. It’s laid back. All about fun. Santa Claus makes an appearance. I don’t ask them to bid on silent auction items that they don’t want. I don’t ask them to sit and listen to speeches and eat rubber chicken dinners. I just ask them to come down and have fun.
Q. What’s your goal for the event?
A. My dream – and I fully believe that it will become true – is that Christmas Express will become a Wichita tradition, and you will be wanting to buy your ticket to Christmas Express in July to make sure you have a seat.
Q. What are you thankful for today?
A. I’m really thankful that I live in America. I’m thankful for the opportunities that growing up here has afforded me. Because I have been blessed beyond belief.