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For 30 Years, Santa's Made a Stop on Washington Avenue

He'll be at Mayday Hardware on Saturday from noon to 2, plus there will be U.S. Marines in uniform to pick-up donated Toys for Tots, Christmas carolers, live music and a raffle for the a toy-filled Christmas stocking.

If you still haven't taken the kids to see Santa (or even if you have) head to tomorrow afternoon where he will be from noon to 2 p.m. (He will then move over to from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

There will also be U.S. Marines in uniform to pick-up donated Toys for Tots (toys will be collected until they show up), Christmas carolers, live music and a raffle for the a toy-filled Christmas stocking.

Owner Jerry Walsh has been holding the Christmas extravaganza for more than three decades. He started the Toys for Tots collection to teach his own four children that Christmas is for giving as much as for getting. 

He's especially pleased that Marines in uniform are able to come to the event. One Christmas when he was a child, his mother was in the hospital in labor, so he spent the big day there. "But then the U.S. Marines came into Lutheren Hospital and pretty much made my Christmas," he said. "It made quite an impression on me." 

He's been collecting Toys for Tots this year since the day after Thanksgiving and he says residents have brought in too many to count. 

"You and I couldn’t lift it together, it’s going to take the Marines to haul it out of here," he said, adding, "The Prospect Heights community has been very generous this year, despite the hard economic times."

Mayday Hardware is located at 755 Washington Ave. bet. St. Johns and Sterling places. Santa will also be at AweDacity! Boutique, 806 Washington Ave. bet. Sterling and St. Johns from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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