Volunteers will help bring Santa to Sanpete
By Robert Green
Santa and his elves will be flying with the Utah Wing of Angel Flight West to deliver donated toys, school supplies, books, backpacks and warm clothing to the students of Ephraim Elementary School.
The flight is scheduled to arrive at the Manti airport on a nice day in mid-December. The contingent will be meeting the students at the airport.
Ephraim School Principal Gannon Jones said the school is discouraging parents from attending the event because of parking, traffic and safety concerns at the airport.
Principal Jones and the PTA have arranged to bring the students to the airport to greet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves. At an assembly in a hangar, the students will serenade Santa and the pilots. Then Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves will give out hugs and candy canes. The National Guard will transport the donated items to the school.
Ten scouts from the Wasatch Front are helping with this event for their Eagle Scout Service Project. They have gathered donated school supplies, winter coats, books and toys based on the needs of the school. Additionally, KUED will be providing over 600 books through its “Ready to Learn” program encouraging literacy and other key family development programs.
Since the first Santa Flight in 2000, the members of the Utah Wing have worked with their local communities to gather needed supplies and toys and deliver them to Title One Schools in rural communities throughout Utah, according to a new release.
Santa Flight coordinators Steve Bollinger said the partnership with the Scouts has been critical in the success of this project.
As with every Angel Flight mission, the pilots donate their time, talent, airplanes, fuel and operating expenses.
Founded in 1983, Angel Flight West is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. The Utah Wing has 77 pilots and flies 100 plus missions a year within Utah and throughout the intermountain west. For more information, visit www.angelflightwest.org or www.facebook.com/angelflightwest.