Toys given to 700-plus local kids over holiday

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More than 700 local children received toys over the holiday season thanks to donations to Toys for Tots.

Contributions from area residents generated enough items so that 706 local children received two toys and a stocking stuffer, said organizer Beth Swanson. Within a week's period 274 families picked up toys at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

For the 62nd annual toy drive, Toys for Tots worked closely with St. Vincent de Paul, Walla Walla Public Schools, Salvation Army, the YWCA and Washington State Children Services to guarantee that every child got a toy, Swanson said.

The contributions nearly doubled the amount of toys from the previous year, when 359 children received the donations.

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Some dining options at Wildhorse Resort Casino will be temporarily taken off the table starting Sunday.

Fine-dining restaurant Plateau will be closed Sunday through Wednesday.

Additionally Traditions, the casino's buffet, will be operational, but the buffet menu will be limited while the restaurant's kitchen floor is being refinished. The seafood buffet will reportedly not be offered next Thursday.

Buffet prices will be reduced to compensate for the limited menu. Breakfast is $5.95; lunch is $7.95; dinner is $12.95; and brunch is $9.95.

Normal food and beverage operations at the Mission, Ore., casino and resort are expected to resume Jan. 15. For more information, call 1-800-654-9453, or visit: www.wildhorseresort.com .

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Hot Mama's Espresso is issuing a challenge for those who want to melt away pounds in the new year.

The Pine Street coffee spot, owned by Cathy Rasley and her daughter Jenny, will host trained representatives from health and wellness organization AdvoCare.

The representatives will provide information on getting lean and toning up for a 24-Day Challenge.

Samples and information will be provided.

For more detail call Hot Mama's Espresso, 1447 W. Pine St., at 529-4298.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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