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Over 10 Private Planes Fly Into Alpena for Operation Good Cheer

This morning was a huge drop in with over 10 small planes bringing in gifts for operation good cheer.

Today was a good day, a good day to fly for a cause. That cause, is Operation Good Cheer.

The annual all volunteer Christmas gift-giving program is one of many programs the Child and Family Services of Michigan Inc. provides for foster children in homes, group homes, or residential treatment facilities in Michigan.

Pilots from all over volunteered their time to make Christmas wishes come true for children in foster care in Alpena and surrounding areas of Michigan.

Pilot John Laws has been flying and delivering gifts for over 7 years. He said he carries at least 20 gifts during trips.

“This year I only took two because they were mammoth big ones! Usually I can take 10 to 12 to 20 because the plane can hold a lot of bikes and wagons and stuff like that. So…. They like my plane because it holds a lot of stuff,” Laws said.

Laws friend, Rick Rhein joined in with today’s operation and said it’s rewarding to see pilots give back for kids.

“Well it’s always important to give our time to people. But definitely for these pilots to go up in the air with their planes and to donate their time and some of their resources for the gas is just awesome,” Rhein said.

There were 28 pickup locations throughout Michigan for pilots to drop off gifts. Each child in the program created a wish list with six ideas that they wanted for Christmas.

Volunteer pilot; Phil Bozek said giving back is the best way to move forward. Bozek was able to fit over 100 gifts in his plane today.

There were over 300 gifts collected total for 100 foster children in the Alpena area today.