Friends of Flying Santa to deliver presents along the New England coast

BOSTON — Friends of Flying Santa, which is in its 80th year, will be completing its final flight of 2009, Saturday, Dec. 12, as they deliver presents to Coast Guard units along the New England coast.

Friends of Flying Santa is a nonprofit entity made up entirely of volunteers who will deliver more than 600 toys by helicopter to children of Coast Guard families from more than 50 units in six states this holiday season.

Santa will visit West Chop Light in Tisbury, Mass., Brant Point Light in Nantucket, Mass ., Chatham Light in Chatham, Mass., Station Cape Cod Canal in Sandwhich, Mass., Station Point Allerton in Hull, Mass., Station Gloucester in Gloucester, Mass., and Station Merrimack River in Merrimack River, Mass.

JBI helicopters of Pembroke, N.H., donated a helicopter for the event, which will be flown by retired Vice Adm. Vivien Crea. Chief Warrant Officer Tom Guthlein, commanding officer of Station Castle Hill in Newport, R.I., will fill the roll of Santa Claus. Crea and Guthlein will join Brian Tague, president and photographer of Friends of Flying Santa.

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