Angel Flight brings Santa, school supplies to Utah children

Posted at 9:49 PM, Dec 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-10 23:49:47-05

CEDAR CITY, Utah – East Elementary School got a special air delivery Tuesday, delivered by Santa Claus himself. It’s part of a program to reach out to under privileged Utah schools.

All 600 students filled the hanger at the Cedar City Airport. They were there to welcome the planes, but mostly to see Santa. The 15-plane fleet was part of Santa Flight, a program operated by Salt Lake Valley based Angel Flight West.

The non-profit organization offers free air transport for sick families in need of travel for health care. Every December, they team up with local Boy Scouts to provide school supplies for a rural Utah school.

“We figure about 5,000 pounds that we’ve brought down today,” said Angel Flight West wing leader Steve Bollinger. “Then we had a lot of generous people who were giving cash donations. And we had $6,500 in cash.”

The pilots all donate their time and travel expenses to deliver the supplies, and the Boy Scouts come along too. Cedar City scout Dallin Henrie is one of several who worked to collect coats, books, and art supplies as an Eagle Scout project. He said seeing the kids light up is the pay off.

“It’s been great,” Henrie said. “The whole community has come together, and we’ve all helped gather stuff for these kids. We’ve gathered a ton of stuff.”

During an assembly, the kids sang songs and thanked the group for all their efforts. Principal Steve Burton said it’s something they’ve been looking forward to, mostly the Santa part, but the supplies will be put to good use.

“It’s a significant donation to our school,” Burton said. “I think the supplies are needed in the class room, I think the donations will help a lot of needy families.”

Angel Flight West has been doing Santa Flight for 14 years. They said it keeps getting bigger every year. For more information on the program, visit their website.