San Gabriel Valley : SHOPPING SPREE

Sarahi Hernandez, 11, and Nagham "Music" Neshewat, 10, were comparing their gift wish lists outside a Monrovia toy store when Santa Claus showed up.

"There he is!" screamed Music. "See, I told you he was going to come in a fire truck. I saw him yesterday."

Beaming from a shiny red Monrovia Fire Department engine, Santa waved at 26 children who were gathered in front of the toy store for a magical shopping spree Wednesday.

Toys R Us has donated money to the Monrovia Fire Department's annual toy drive for more than three years, said Fire Chief Ernest Mitchell.

But this year, the toy store also opened its doors to allow children from low-income families from the Foothill Unity Center and other community groups to choose their own presents. As with many of the children, this was Music's first trip to Toys R Us, and her eyes lit up as she took a Barbie Oven off the shelf.

Toys R Us footed the bill, which came to about $340, store manager Scott Campbell said.

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