The Junior League of Colorado Springs (JLCS) partnered with Sky West Airlines for the 5th straight year to bring Fantasy Flight to over 50 deserving children in Colorado Springs, CO. The children and their families boarded a SkyWest jet on December 10, and took flight, destined for the North Pole. Luckily, the North Pole is closer than many of us realize to Colorado, and the flight lasted only about a half an hour.

Upon landing, the travelers were ushered into a winter wonderland. The children participated in several Christmas themed activities, led by Junior League “elves”, some by SkyWest employees donating their time, and some orchestrated with the help of the Pikes Peak Children’s Museum, with whom the JLCS is currently developing a partnership.

Photo by Jamie Smith Photography

Members of the JLCS’ Kids in the Kitchen committee helped the children make Reindeer Food, a tasty and nutritious treat consisting of quick cooking oats, dried fruits, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Once microwaved with water, Reindeer Food tastes suspiciously like a wonderful bowl of oatmeal!

Children also engaged in holiday games and crafts. The games included ice fishing for treats and playing snowball fight (with white balloons, of course). The crafts included creating a personalized ornament for each child, featuring their picture, snapped by the Junior League’s professional photographer, earlier in the evening. The photos were printed on site, and were incorporated into ornaments that the families could take home immediately.

After a very busy afternoon at the North Pole, the room full of elves and visitors suddenly noticed a great sound. Santa was arriving, landing in a helicopter! After being treated to this delightful sight, the children all took a turn meeting Santa, and receiving a personalized gift, as well as gifts to share with his or her siblings.

When it was finally time for the visitors to return home, many were amazed to discover just how easy of a walk it was to return to Colorado Springs. Return they did, though, and every one of them must have slept well and contentedly that night.

Photo by Jamie Smith Photography

All of these activities were provided to the families completely free of charge, and wouldn’t have been possible without the enduring generosity of JLCS Members and our amazing sponsors: Chick-Fil-A, Jamie Smith Photography, the Colorado Springs Airport, Sox the Fox – the Colorado Springs’ SkySox mascot, Integrated Deicing Solutions, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and SkyWest Airlines. In addition to Sky West’s incredible generosity as a company, and the phenomenal giving spirit demonstrated by many employees, also coordinated other activity sponsors, including a petting zoo, musicians, and demonstration of service animals.

For the past five years, this partnership between the JLCS and SkyWest Airlines has been going strong, and providing lifelong memories to some of Colorado Springs’ underprivileged families. The Junior League of Colorado Springs initiated the first launch of Fantasy Flight in 1996, in partnership with United Airlines. After a few successful years, Fantasy Flight was retired in the late 90s, allowing the JLCS to focus on projects appropriate to the times. The Junior League of Colorado Springs, in 2007, reinstated this event as a signature effort of the Community Service Corps committee; its ultimate “Done in a Day.”

This article is reprinted courtesy of the Junior League of Colorado Springs