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In One Ear: Secret Santa senator

Sen. Betsy Johnson makes a child’s wish come true
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on December 15, 2017 12:01AM

Photo of Sen. Betsy Johnson and Evie by Julie Thompson/The St. Helens Chronicle

Photo of Sen. Betsy Johnson and Evie by Julie Thompson/The St. Helens Chronicle

State Sen. Betsy Johnson took the time to spread some holiday cheer around in St. Helens recently, according to a story in The St. Helens Chronicle (

The senator attended the 35th annual Toy N Joy auction, where a red pedal-operated toy fire engine with two teddy bear passengers had caught the eye of Toy N Joy board member Larry Weaver’s grand-niece, Evie. The child, who was helping Santa (Merle Pence) at the auction, tried to buy the fire engine from Santa with $20 Weaver had given her, but was very disappointed to find that she was out of luck. The toy was part of the auction. But … it just so happened that Sen. Johnson had overheard the conversation.

When the fire engine came up for auction, it was a hot item. The winning bid, $150, was by Sen. Johnson, who immediately gave the toy to Evie. The child’s reaction? “That’s absolutely amazing.” The pair are pictured, with the coveted prize, courtesy of Julie Thompson/The St. Helens Chronicle.

Sen. Johnson’s gift was much more than a kind gesture to a child in the spirit of Christmas, it was a tribute to Evie’s great-uncle. “Larry has done so much for the citizens of this county over the years,” she told The Chronicle, “and this was just a small way to show my appreciation for all that he’s done.”


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