Angel Tree kids take flight to North Pole - - Jackson, MS

Angel Tree kids take flight to North Pole

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

More than 60 kids flew to the North Pole, met Santa and received some pretty cool gifts Tuesday.

It's all part of the 10th annual Flight to the North Pole, an event that sponsors children and give them an experience to remember. Y 101.7 started the event that now includes the Salvation Army and the National Guard as sponsors.

The kids took about a 20 minute ride inside an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III.  

When the kids arrived they were matched up with a volunteer elf, picked up their gifts and played games. All of the gifts were donated from the public.

"Every child here will get a bicycle," Governor Phil Bryant explained. "Each different division on the air national guard base went out and raised money, gave money to see who could buy the most bikes, so every child here tonight will carry a bicycle home with them." 

"Everyone go through their hard times and to have something like this where you can fall back on it means a lot," said Latoya Jenkins.

We found a familiar face at this year's event.

Aiden Johnson was battling a rare form of cancer. He had a tumor removed from his eye and is now cancer free. 

"Last few Christmas he was taking chemo so this is his first Christmas not taking chemo and he had two surgery this year," said Deidre Johnson, Aiden's mother. "One in April and a brain surgery in July so it's just amazing. He's very excited about Christmas this year. He just had scans last week. He's  still cancer free, still no sign or tumor so it's amazing "

Volunteers told us they love the event to see the kids' reaction when they get off the plane. 

"This makes my Christmas every year," said volunteer Marianne Breland. "It just fills my heart with so much love. There's not even words to describe how wonderful it makes you feel." 

"I remember my first year like seven years ago," said Carson Case of Y 101.7. "It was maybe ten elves out here and now looking at this, it's phenomenal." 

"Well you know we've been struggling the last few days with kettle workers and numbers and trying to get all the senior angels adopted," said Captain Ken Chapman with the Salvation Army. "Tonight my Christmas spirit was raised way up because this is magic for these children. They will never forget this," 

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