It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it was Santa and Mrs. Clause landing at Chicago/Rockford International Airport (RFD) in a UPS plane!
Smiles and little waving hands greeted Mr. and Mrs. Claus as they hopped out of their UPS airplane, providing a joyful message to the less fortunate for the 68th Toys for Tots celebration.
Bethany Kolander and her daughter were among the folks gathered at the event, which was put on by Toys for Tots and the U.S. Marine Corps. “The look on her face was absolutely priceless! To see Santa coming off the plane; her face entirely lit up,” says Kolander.
“We really enjoy this. It’s the third year we’ve done it. It’s a unique way for Santa to arrive,” says RFD Airport Operations Manger Dave Lindberg.
“It’s extremely humbling to help out Toys for Tots and help out needy families this time of the year,” says UPS Employee Jeff Simonic.
The conveyor belt rolled out toys, with children’s names on them, to nearly a 100 underprivileged families who were invited to the event.
More 5,000 children in Winnebago and Boone County are expected to be given toys this year though the Toys for Tots program.
“To be a part of this [program], that reached out to help us celebrate Christmas, was amazing,” says Kolander.