Coast Guard to present certificate of appreciation to Flying Santa veteran Saturday

Coast Guard Sector New England LogoPORTSMOUTH, N. H. — The Flying Santa event for Maine and New Hampshire is now scheduled for Saturday, December 18, 2010 after two weather-related postponements.

Capt. James McPherson, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, will present a Coast Guard Certificate of Appreciation to 20-year Flying Santa veteran Brian Tague, during the Flying Santa’s stop at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor at approximately 3:35 p.m.

The President of the Board of Trustees for the Friends of Flying Santa program, Mr. Tague has participated in approximately 60 flights over the past 20 years and has been integral to the program’s success.

Flying Santa is an annual holiday tradition that began in 1929 to show appreciation for Coast Guard members and their families. Two separate Flying Santa flights stopped at 18 separate lighthouses and Coast Guard Stations in New England to deliver gifts to children of Coast Guard families earlier this month. The Maine and New Hampshire flight on Saturday is scheduled to make 6 stops from Jonesport, Maine to Portsmouth, N. H. The flights are operated by volunteers who donate their time and private helicopters to stop at 24 lighthouses and Coast Guard Stations throughout New England.

Mr. Tague continues to commit countless amounts of volunteer time and effort to coordinate logistics, donations, gift procurement and wrapping. He also goes to great lengths to match age and gender appropriate gifts to all of the children who are able to participate.

“Flying Santa is a wonderful tribute to our Coast Guard men and women and their families,” said McPherson. “We can’t thank Mr. Tague enough for his undying support and dedication in making the program the only of its kind in the country today. He and his staff of volunteers really go to great lengths to add a very special touch for our Coast Guard families in New England during the Holiday season, and we are forever grateful.”

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