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Malheur County foster kids get an early Christmas with Santa, gifts

By Les Zaitz

The Enterprise

ONTARIO – The toddler ignored the bins of toys on the floor before him and instead stared up at the mounted elk head.

Nearby, a woman bent towards a young boy seated, waiting for dinner.

“What are you going to ask Santa for?” she asked.

The boy leaned back in his metal chair, folding his arms across his chest.

“I’m going to think about it,” he said.

He didn’t have long to think before Santa arrived at the Ontario Elks Lodge to grab his attention and that of the toddler more interested in hunting trophies than Christmas gifts.

The two were among foster children from across Malheur County treated Sunday evening to a holiday festival meant to bring brightness to their sometimes challenged lives. They came . . .