“You could see in their faces when Santa came off the plane, they’re believers, they knew Santa Claus,” said tri-county ‘Toys For Tots’ coordinator Bruce Giersche, about nearly 80 children witnessing Santa exiting a ‘UPS’ jumbo jet.
‘The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD)’ in collaboration with ‘Toys For Tots’ organized its fourth annual giving event to children and families of military veterans in need. “It was an idea we had about four or five years ago that we wanted to do a Christmas event for the community that was something different,” said Assistant Operations Manager for RFD, Dave Lindberg.
The families were able to witness two helicopters escort Mr. and Mrs. Claus from the ‘UPS’ jet on to the tarmac and then later receive gifts to get Christmas started early. The event has continued to grow over the years. “This year we have got more sponsors than we’ve ever had,” said Lindberg.
“We have the Rockford Police Department here with cars. We have the Chicago managers here handing out extra gifts, and it’s expanding every year because everybody wants to be involved,” added Giersche. After all, it is the season of giving, and the results tend to speak for themselves.
“To see the kids faces, the parents, and we look at all the hours we put into doing all this, getting it all together, and we say ‘ah, it was all worth it’. To see their faces, it’s really a lot of fun,” said Giersche