Wesley Dietlein, 9, was hoping to get a scooter for Christmas this year and he did - just a little sooner than he'd expected.
Wesley was one of 15 students to win prizes Saturday for the coloring contest sponsored by Coldwell Banker Village Realty, who is also a sponsor of the Christmas toy drive, Toys for Tots.
"Yesterday, when we were on our way to my sister's program, all of the sudden, my mom told me I won the coloring contest," Wesley explained. "I couldn't believe it."
His mom was surprised as well.
"We had no idea that he had even entered," said Terri Dietlein. "We were blown away."
Dietlein said she and her family have supported the Toys for Tots program for years and with the money she would have spent on a scooter for Wesley, she will now spend for donations to the program.
Coldwell Banker, along with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Target Stores, is collecting toys to be given to needy children for Christmas.
"We think it's important because it reaches out to the community," said Broker Nancy Carlson. "It's for the local children."
And members of the community are stepping up to the plate.
Carlson said they have received nearly triple the amount of toys this year than they had by this time last year.
Santa Claus showed up Saturday to congratulate contest winners and to encourage people to donate toys to the program.
Kari Breuer brought her 11-month-old son, Dawson, to see Santa.
"Santa is his grandpa," Breuer confessed. "But he's kind of scared of him."
Dennis Smith, a Coldwell agent, who played Santa for the day, said he posed with about 75 children for pictures.
"The kids are great," he said. "Most of them are happy to see Santa, even the little babies. It's about age a year and a year and a half that they get scared."
Other contest winners were:
Two to three years old -
First place: Quinn Peterson
Second place: Allison Gaskill
Third place: Richard Perkins
Three to four years old -
First place: Nash Herman
Second place: Aaron Willey
Third place: Lettie Lynch
Five to six years old -
First place: Brenda Rodriguez
Second place: Arran Raunbagh
Third place: Gabie Bucchianeri
Seven to nine years -
First place: Wesley Dietlein
Second place: Jessica Peterson
Third place: Jessica Potter
Ten to 12 years -
First place: Maggie Jessie
Second place: Stephanie Courtright
Third place: Paul Pishnak
YOU CAN HELP
To make a donation to Toys for Tots, drop off an unwrapped toy at Coldwell Banker on the corner of Carson Street and Winnie Lane before Dec. 21 or call 782-7062.
Coldwell Banker Village Realty and Target Stores have teamed up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for the annual Toys for Tots in Carson City and Genoa.
"Target store manager Lauren Ahmed has been very generous with toys and gift certificates," said Carolyn Goff from the Genoa office of Coldwell Banker Village Realty.
Support for this important program to provide holiday gifts for the less fortunate kids in our communities continues to be very strong, she added.
There is still time to drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Coldwell Banker Village Realty offices in Genoa and Carson City.
For details, call Coldwell Banker Village offices at 782-7062 in Genoa and 883-2300 in Carson City.
Donations: Lauren Amhed, Target team leader, Carolyn Goff of Coldwell Banker, and Target's Kelly DesCamps, in charge of fund-raisers, and Holly McPhail are shown with some of the toys donated by the store.