Arlington to offer multi-ethnic Santa Clauses to spread Christmas joy

ARLINGTON - Families will have the chance to visit and take photos with their choice of a Anglo, African-American or Hispanic Santa Clauses this Saturday at the Arlington animal shelter.

The city's Animal Services division decided to offer a variety of Santas, including a Spanish-speaking one, for its annual holiday photo fund-raiser this year to better serve Arlington's diverse population, Community Services Educator Chrishandra Huff said.

"A lot of the younger kids that get to see Santa Claus are not in school yet, so they are not able to speak English well. They haven't been able to tell Santa what they've wanted in the past," Huff said. "We have a little variety this time. If it works well, we hope to do it every year."

The event at the Arlington Animal Services Center, 1000 S.E. Green Oaks Blvd., is sponsored by Respect A Bull, Inc. Proceeds from the $5 photos will be used to spay and neuter animals at the shelter and to teach responsible pet ownership.

Residents can bring their children and their pets to meet with a traditional Anglo Santa from 9 to 11 a.m., an Hispanic Santa from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or a black Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. Huff said the city hopes to find an Asian Santa to participate next year.

The animal shelter will also be selling its 2011 calendar for $10 each at the event. Next year's calendar spotlights Arlington animals who serve the community, including Leroy Brown, an English bulldog who travels to schools with city officials to help teach students about bite prevention.

Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639

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