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GA pilots, AOPA 2005 Sharples winner spread Christmas cheerGA pilots, AOPA 2005 Sharples winner spread Christmas cheer

GA pilots, AOPA 2005 Sharples winner spread Christmas cheer

Click for larger image
Operation Good Cheer aircraft load
up gifts at Oakland County International
Airport to fly to those in need.

More than 4,400 foster children in Michigan received a special delivery this weekend. General aviation pilots and Euel Kinsey, who won the 2005 Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award for his selfless commitment to GA, flew Christmas presents to infants, children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities as part of Operation Good Cheer.

"More than 100 planes participated this year in the annual event. The planes (like their pilots) came in all shapes and sizes - from a Cessna 140 to a Gulfstream," Kinsey said of the event coordinated by Child and Family Services of Michigan. "These pilots donated their aircraft for a very worthy cause - bringing Christmas cheer to children who often have had a rough time through no fault of their own."

Volunteer GA pilots arrived Saturday during their allotted time slots at Oakland County International Airport to pick up the packages. Presents purchased and wrapped by groups or individuals had been taken to the airport to be sorted. Kinsey reported that this year Pentastar Aviation donated hangar space for sorting and storing the gifts.

Volunteers were stationed at each of the destination airports to meet the pilots, unload the gifts, and deliver them to children in the surrounding areas.

"All of the gifts were loaded and on the way in only six hours," Kinsey said. "Through the generosity of these pilots, donors, and volunteers, many children will have their Christmas wishes come true."

December 5, 2005

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