MISSOULA — MISSOULA - We recently told you that The Museum of Mountain Flying's Christmas event -- Red Sleighs Over Montana -- needed toy donations.
Well, they got those donations, thanks to you, and on Wednesday Santa's elves was able to deliver them to rural areas in our state.
It was a windy day at the Missoula International Airport as Santa and his helpers were stirring up some dust -- getting ready to deliver toys all across Montana.
Red Sleighs Over Montana took to the skies on Wednesday morning.
"That was very cool to see all those planes and helicopters taking off, on a really good mission,” said Harry Miller who watched as volunteers prepare for flight.
"I like lots of stuff with motors, so it was really cool seeing them take off,” Ryan Miller added.
Organizations teamed up this month to gather toy donations, and now those toys are on Santa's sleigh, heading to rural Montana.
"They'll be very appreciated,” observed Forrest Gue with Minuteman Aviation.
The red sleighs have been stopping in 18 Montana towns that Santa sometimes has a hard time making it to.
"These are going to rural areas that don't have as much support as we have here in Missoula,” explained Julie Lynch with Berkshire Hathaway.
“So, I think it's just going to make a lot of kids happy that might not have otherwise received toys this Christmas," she added.
Families are struggling financially, but the organizers want to bring them a happy holiday.
"I think it's been a tough year for everyone, so to close it out on a high note is a really exciting thing during the holidays," Lynch told MTN News.
Organizers say community donations, volunteer pilots, and some holiday spirit, helped this all come together.
"This whole thing really was kind of on a whim,” noted Gue.
"Fliers -- everything came out in a week and a half's time,” Lynch added.
It turned out to be more than enough time for 1,000 toys to make it from Missoula to under the Christmas tree.
The planes and helicopters are making stops all over, from Eureka to Plains to Cut Bank, where families can meet them to pick up the gifts.
(first report: 11:06 a.m. - Dec. 23, 2020)
The Museum of Mountain Flying will distribute toys to 18 towns in Western Montana on Wednesday morning.
A group of volunteers is flying 12 aircraft to distribute those donations to children in need in towns across Montana.
Red Sleighs Over Montana aircraft took off from the Missoula International Airport.
Museum of Mountain Flying President Eric Komberec says he knows it’s been a difficult year for so many, and he wants to let those struggling to know that they’re not forgotten.
Here are the stops:
- Thompson Falls
- Cut Bank
- Deer Lodge
- White Sulphur Springs
- Seeley Lake