Santa Claus collects gifts at charity-focused cash mob

November 27, 2012

Al Krush returns as Santa Claus for a charity-focused cash mob Dec. 5 at Gilman Village’s White Horse Toys. File

Santa Claus is coming to town — to a cash mob, to be exact.

The next cash mob is due to descend on Gilman Village’s White Horse Toys on Dec. 5, just in time for the pre-Christmas rush. The event is meant to reflect the holiday spirit, because organizers asked cash mob participants to purchase something for themselves, and something extra for charity.

In a cash mob, a group of people descends on a business to buy, buy, buy. The destination is revealed through social media services. Then, the mob pops up at the business to browse and shop.

The 20- and 30-something business leaders in the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce — Young Issaquah Professionals, or YIPPIES for short — modeled the cash mob on similar events elsewhere.

The concept for the upcoming cash mob is BOGO — buy one, give one — and customers can donate toys to the Wounded Warrior Project. The toys then go to children of military personnel killed or wounded in action.

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Swedish/Issaquah expands popular Holidays at the Hospital event

November 27, 2012

Last year, Swedish/Issaquah hosted a small holiday event for the public that featured a chance for children to decorate a huge gingerbread house.

It proved so popular that organizers decided to return this year Dec. 1 with a bigger blowout, Holidays at the Hospital, featuring more activities sure to appeal to all ages and become an annual tradition.

Returning is the giant gingerbread house children can still decorate, constructed by the chefs of Café 1910 and carpenters of their facilities department.

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Head to downtown Issaquah for holiday cheer

November 27, 2012

Downtown merchants invite the public to head to Front Street North for some holiday cheer Dec. 5, as the Downtown Issaquah Association hosts a holiday open house.

The event runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the historic Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., and other locations downtown.

Participants can listen to children sing Christmas carols and a performance from Violet Oroboros. Sip hot chocolate, coffee and tea, and then meet Santa Claus and a reindeer. Santa is available for free family photographs, too.

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Santa Claus is coming to town for photos

November 27, 2012

Take photos and meet Santa Claus through Christmas at popular locations.

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Issaquah holiday activities offer fa-la-la fun

November 27, 2012

Bartell Drugs and Salvation Army’s Toy ‘n’ Joy drive through Dec. 14, accepts new, unwrapped gifts for children up to age 14, or shoppers can chose a gift request tag item in the store and put it in the donation barrel in the store. The Issaquah Bartell is at 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E. Learn more at

Toys for Troops seeks donations for Christmas presents for children of service members. Drop off donations through Dec. 15 at the Issaquah Police Station, 130 E. Sunset Way, or make financial donations at

Small Works Holiday Exhibition, through Dec. 29, artEAST Art Center, 95 Front St. N., 392-3191,

Downtown Issaquah holiday lights work party, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1, meet at Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St., a lunch break at noon features donated pizza from Flying Pie Pizza, call 391-1112 to volunteer

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Officers help Santa Claus deliver Christmas cheer to family in need

January 3, 2012

Santa Claus holds the door for (from left) Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum, Chief Paul Ayers and Officer Karin Weihe as a brigade of officers prepare to deliver Christmas gifts. Contributed

In a Christmas tradition, Issaquah police officers and department employees spread some holiday cheer to local families Dec. 21.

Each Christmas, the Issaquah Police Department adopts a needy family, gathers items from a Christmas wish list and then accompanies Santa Claus for a special delivery.

Santa receives some help from officers — a ride in a police vehicle — to present the gifts to the family.

Once the department picked a pair of families in need, agency employees snapped up items from the wish list.

Then, department employees wrapped the gifts for the family, headed to the home and — spoiler alert — Motorcycle Officer John Lindner donned a red suit to portray Santa Claus.

Off the Press

December 13, 2011

Santa, please help tell true story of Christmas

David Hayes Press reporter

A funny thing happened when I was asked to play the role of Santa for Northwest Pugs — a meetup group my wife co-organizes for local pug owners.

Cute photos of their dogs with Jolly St. Nick would have to be without me, for you see, I didn’t fit into the silly suit.

Who in China designs a costume of a fat man that an actual horizontally challenged person cannot fit into? Luckily, my wife found a more svelte volunteer to fill the position.

However, once my services were no longer needed, I decided to turn the tables and think about what I would ask of Santa, if I were to discover one with a lap ample enough to hold my weight without risk of injury.

My wish of the bearded one would be an emphasis on the return of the true meaning of Christmas to include more of the original bearded one. That would involve getting the ACLU’s grubby little paws off the holiday.

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Santa visits Issaquah Train Depot / Dec. 3, 2011

December 13, 2011

University House holds pancake breakfast to aid Eastside Fire & Rescue

December 8, 2011

NEW— 11:50 a.m. Dec. 8, 2011

In support of Eastside Fire & Rescue, University House Issaquah is holding a pancake breakfast from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday at the retirement community.

University House is hoping to raise $1,500, enough to aid in the purchase of an Oceanid, a watercraft that helps with swift water and flood rescues, said University House’s Nicole Francois. Because of budget cuts, Eastside Fire & Rescue cannot afford to make the purchase themselves.

Pancake breakfast tickets are $5 per person. Visitors also can take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus for a $2 donation. Last year, about 250 people attended the pancake breakfast and raised $1,300. Read more

Family uses almost 400,000 lights to create Christmas extravaganza

December 6, 2011

The Ginnaty family home, just south of Issaquah, is a bright festival of Christmas lights, including Santa’s high-flying sleigh led by a red-nosed Rudolph. By Greg Farrar

The effort to install holiday lights on the Ginnaty home just outside city limits along the base of Tiger Mountain starts the weekend after Labor Day.

Jeri Ginnaty flips the switch on the estimated 350,000 to 400,000 lights on Thanksgiving night. The attraction lures Christmas light seekers down the rural road to see illuminated strand after illuminated strand.

The super-sized tradition started more than a decade ago, after Ginnaty traded a more modest display — a mere 50,000 lights — for a multicolored tribute to the season.

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