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[December 20, 2012]
Santa Claus flies into Cable Airport in Upland to give gifts to children
Dec 20, 2012 (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- One afternoon every December, Santa Claus trades in his sleigh and reindeer for the world's largest biplane to bring gifts to boys and girls in Upland.
Santa flew into Cable Airport on Dec. 13 to help the Upland Fire Department give 100 Upland students wrapped gifts to children of low-income families.
"This is Christmas," said Bob Cable, owner of Cable Airport and Santa's pilot. "The true meaning of Christmas is giving to people who don't expect it. A lot of these kids won't get a gift this year." The plane is owned by the Commemorative Air Force and kept at Cable.
The plane is part of the American Airpower Heritage Museum in Midland, Texas.
Upland Unified School District had a list of 1,100 students this year, of which 100 of the younger students were able to participate in the annual event at Cable.
The wrapped gifts were provided by Upland firefighters and officials from the city's Recreation Services Department, who collect the gifts through the Spark of Love toy drive.
The children on the district's list are part of the district's numerous programs for low-income children, including after school programs, the healthy start program, preschool program, child care programs, English language learner programs as well as programs for homeless families in the district.
"Every year it has grown," said Rebecca Maynard, support services coordinator for the district's healthy start program.
"The need is certainly there, and we recognize it had grown as our programs have grown." Other students on the list receive gifts through local non-profits as well as district officials.
The Upland Rotary Club took some students on a shopping spree at Target.
They also sent some students to the annual Holiday Miracles event at the Colonies Crossroads shopping center.
At the beginning of every school year, the district helps provide backpacks and school supplies to low income children.
"It's really wonderful," Maynard said. "People really want to help those who are less fortunate. They're very generous not just at Christmas, but the whole year too." Reach Sandra via email, call her at 909-483-8555, or find her on Twitter @UplandNow.
___ (c)2012 the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.) Visit the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.) at www.dailybulletin.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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