Operation Good Cheer goes airborne

GWINN — This weekend presents were delivered not by reindeer but by jets to Sawyer Airport in order to give to those children who might not have otherwise received presents for the holidays.

Four corporate jets flew into Sawyer International Airport on Saturday to deliver presents from Santa to children in foster care as part of Operation Good Cheer.

Teaching Family Homes in Marquette has been a part of this program for many years in order to help create a Christmas for children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to celebrate.

“The one thing that there is never a shortage of is need. At the holidays the needs go up huge and for a lot of the kids due to whatever situation there in, there will not be a Christmas for them, and this is a program statwide that guarantees these kids will have a good Christmas,” said Dave Mastric, Teaching Family Homes Facility Director.

And enlists the help of many people and corporations to help in spreading the holiday cheer.

The children start the process in the summer when they begin writing their wish lists and throughout the months leading up to Christmas Day volunteers and Teaching Family Homes work to make it happen.

“Well, at this holiday season or any holiday season it is just great to give back. We just have a great group of folks in our department and our company and this is one way for us to give back. It’s team–building for us and we know we’re doing a good thing. It’s a beautiful day and we get to meet nice people, and in the end it’s about transporting gifts for the foster kids in Michigan and anything we can do we’re happy to do it,” shared Jay Orwin, Director of Aviation.

“How could it not be important? I mean, children and gifts that’s as good as it gets and if you really want to feel Christmas–y it’s gifting and helping people in need and in this case, children, and that’s a winner in just about everyone’s book,” added pilot, Robert Lambert.

Gifts of all sizes and many bicycles were delivered from the aircrafts and delivered to each prospective service worker and volunteer in order to deliver them in time for Christmas morning.

It takes many volunteers and people to make this happen and as it shows, they are all happy to do it for the reaction of the children who receive the presents.

“For the kids that are getting the gifts it’s wonderful. They have such a great time with it. For people in the agencies we come together. There are so many different agencies and we all gather together at the airport. Sometimes we’re in competition for the same cases, we come together for the holidays and it’s really wonderful to see a lot of your peers and other companies,” commented Mastric.