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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

November 12, 2009 at 3:53 PM

This Santa takes toys

santa111209m.jpg
2:05 p.m. [Click on sketch to view larger]
I was a bit surprised to find out that Santa is already in town. But it’s never too early to put in some extra work for a good cause. “Thanksgiving and Christmas are both a good combination. It’s the season of giving,” said John K. Hart Jr., the commercial manager at the Quality Inn & Suites near Aurora Avenue. Today was the first day of their holiday toy drive. Hart, who likes to make people laugh, is their official Santa this year.
“If I wasn’t dressed like this I would make you smile anyway,” he said as he waited to have his photo taken with some kids who were just coming down the stairs.
“I want Nintendo DS games,” said 6-year-old Tehya with a big grin when he asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Her sister Bridget, 5, hopes to get a “robot cat.”
The girls’ parents, Narelle Morris and Stephen McGarrigle, had just checked in after flying from Brisbane, Australia, “to get away from the heat,” since it’s summer Down Under now. They said the stores have had Christmas decorations out since October where they live. So no big surprise to see that Santa is already at work in Seattle.
“It’s really nice to see an initiative like this, supporting the local community,” said McGarrigle about the toy drive. After the obligatory photos with Santa, the Australian visitors were going to Pike Place Market and planned to have coffee at Starbucks.
The toys are being collected for the Ballard Boys and Girls club and Toys for Tots.

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