- Over 30 children from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin pictured along with their parents, siblings, hospital staff and Aer Arann crew at Kerry Airport on Saturday for a very special visit to see Santa courtesy of Aer Arann Regional
(Monday, 12th December, 2011) Ho! Ho! Ho! More than 30 children from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin took to the skies from Dublin Airport on Saturday for a very special visit to see Santa.
The children along with their parents and hospital staff travelled by Garda escort to Dublin Airport where they were greeted by a crew of Santa’s little helpers who looked after them on a dedicated flight to Santa’s mystery location.
Mrs. Claus and Santa's little helper arrive at Dublin Airport to board the Aer Arann Regional santa flight
Sarah Benson, Communications Manager, The Children’s Medical & Research Foundation said it was a magical experience for the children. “All of the kids were wide-eyed and full of excitement throughout the day. Seeing the smiles on their faces is what this experience is all about. I’d like to sincerely thank all of the staff and volunteers from Aer Arann and Kerry Airport for making this day a dream come true for these children”.
Aer Arann’s Liam Lalor who has helped to organise the annual Santa flight for 10 consecutive years said, “We were delighted to do the annual Santa flight again this year for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin which is such a worthy cause. I’d like to thank all of the Aer Arann staff and volunteers who held numerous fundraising events recently to ensure this year’s flight was a success.”
Cheers of excitement erupted as the children boarded the Aer Arann Regional flight when Mrs. Claus arrived on the ramp
7 year old Kathleen Kealy and her brother Thomas (10) from Tullow Co. Carlow pictured with Santa at Kerry Airport
waving to everyone from the top of a bright red fire engine! She boarded the flight with the children who all wore Santa hats and had their faces painted.
Before long the cabin was filled with song as the children and crew sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Jingle Bells for a Christmas carol sing-along at 12,000 feet!
As the plane touched down, the mystery location was revealed as Kerry Airport where Santa was waiting to meet all of the children in his festive Grotto and to give them presents donated by Aer Arann staff.
It was fun and games for all the children who received festive treats and entertainment by a magician and balloon modeller compliments of Kerry Airport. All of the parents were treated to mulled wine and mince pies which were kindly donated by Ballingarry House Hotel, Tralee.
Mrs. Claus and Santa's little helpers pictured practicing their carol singing
Noel Ryan, Sales and Marketing Manager of Kerry Airport said “This is the third year that Kerry Airport has supported the annual Aer Arann’s Santa flight and we were absolutely delighted to be involved in this special event again this year. There was a fantastic festive atmosphere at Kerry Airport for the day and all of the children seemed to really enjoy the experience.”
After several hours of Christmas fun, it was smiles all round as the children boarded the Aer Arann Regional flight back to Dublin, along with Santa who accompanied them home.
The highlight of the flight for many children was a visit to the cockpit to meet the Captain Christian Forde who presented each child with an Aer Arann Regional VIP identity card as a reminder of the day.
This was Aer Arann’s 10th annual Santa flight in aid of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin which was once again a huge
success thanks to the commitment of Aer Arann staff volunteers, hospital staff and the staff at Kerry Airport.
7 year old Finn Gallagher from Ballintogher Co. Sligo pictured receiving his present from Santa Claus at Kerry Airport
To mark the occasion, staff from Our Lady’s Hospital for Children’s Hospital, Crumlin presented a special medal to staff from Aer Arann and Kerry Airport.