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Matt Powers, KSL

Santa, pilots, volunteers take flight for kids in need

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:09 p.m.


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CEDAR CITY — Santa left his sleigh in the North Pole for an afternoon to take flight in a small plane to Cedar City, where he delivered goods to nearly 600 school children.

Tuesday, pilots and volunteers from the Utah Wing of Angel Flight filled 15 small airplanes with donations collected by nine local Eagle Scout candidates and headed to Cedar City to spread some holiday cheer at East Elementary School.

The elementary school is a Title 1 school, with about 600 students. All the students went out to the Cedar City airport to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus Tuesday morning.

From there, the Clauses and some elf helpers took a ride on a fire engine down Main Street and to the school, where the donations of school supplies, books, clothing and other items were dropped off.

“It’s really an amazing project. As we go around and we find all these Title 1 schools that basically don’t have the budget, they don’t have the supplies they need, we are able to collect those,” said Steve Bollinger, Utah Wing Leader for Angel Flight West. “Working with the Boy Scouts of America, with businesses and organizations in our community, with pilots and with Angel Flights West, we find these things are really, really needed in these schools.”

The National Guard also works with the Santa Flight volunteers. Pilots donate their time, fuel and airplane for use.

“It’s very rewarding. Pilots love to fly. If they can fly and do service for the community, it’s the best of both worlds. So it’s really a great union between both those projects,” Bollinger said.

Throughout the year, Angel Flight volunteers provide flights for medical patients who need transportation from one area to another for medical-related purposes.

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Celeste Tholen Rosenlof

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