Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at about 11:00 a.m. in Flying Doctors Pilot Rob Lober’s twin engine plane, with the children communicating with the plane to guide Santa in for landing. Once he was on the ground, he was swarmed by the kids. Mr. and Mrs. Claus then boarded the bus with the children and proceeded to Truckee Pines. At an elves workshop already underway at Truckee Pines, Art Schmauder, president of the Flying Doctors, was getting quick lessons from Danny Brown on wrapping presents. Sharon Beyer and Elyse Blaker were busy arranging the presents for children to choose. Then two at a time, with bags in hand, the children came to shop in the No-Parent Zone.
Bobbe Holt, Truckee State Preschool Director, then introduced each child to Santa. Each child was given a copy of the book “Polar Express” and the child in turn brought to Santa his or her container with some coins. Brooke Bishop told the story of explaining to her four-year old son, Milo, that they would be saving coins so Santa could make Christmas happy for children everywhere. As she finished the explanation, Milo ran to his room and brought back his piggy bank ready to do his part.
The children gathered for snacks and a reading of Polar Express, and then afterward the “all aboard” was announced and families boarded the bus for the trip home. All the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters saved and donated by the children became a gift of $500 to be delivered to Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras.
When Susan Bruno of the Flying Doctors was discussing this heart-filled event with a Prosser Lake View couple, who wish to remain anonymous, they matched the children’s donation with another $500 and adopted two local families for the Christmas season. Others, hearing of the event, also have made donations to the Flying Doctors. It was truly a holiday of giving!