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posted: 12/20/2013 5:13 PM

Special Santa continues to thrill at Mooseheart

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  • Mooseheart fifth-grade student Gabriele Mulfordīs eyes lit up when she received a DVD from Santa Claus Thursday.

      Mooseheart fifth-grade student Gabriele Mulfordīs eyes lit up when she received a DVD from Santa Claus Thursday.
    Courtesy of Mooseheart/Darryl Mellema

 
By Christopher Hankins
chankins@dailyherald.com

Bob Miller remembers well his father's tales of living in an orphanage, and never getting a present at Christmas.

Miller lavished his dad with gifts, but since he died, Miller has made sure other kids living apart or without family aren't forgotten.

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For the tenth year, Miller, a former St Charles principal has played Santa for the kids at Mooseheart in Batavia.

"He's a gem," Mooseheart Executive Director Gary Urwiler said in a news release. "He's led by his heart and his passion for children in need."

Miller said he's inspired by the experience his father had as a child in a series of orphanages.

"He was never adopted," Miller said. "He remembered being in foster homes where he never got a Christmas gift. As I got older and heard stories from my mom, I always felt I would overcompensate to buy him gifts. Now he's passed on."

As a principal, Miller would make the trip to Mooseheart a learning experience for his students. Now he does it simply for the joy on the faces of the Mooseheart students.

"I know it makes my Christmas to do this," he said.

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