The Betty Vinson Christmas Toy Airlift, a project of the Virginia Chapter Ninety-Nines, invites volunteer pilots from across the Commonwealth to fly into Chesterfield County Airport on Saturday, December 14th to deliver gifts for military families and for hospitalized veterans. Visitors are invited to fly in or drive to the airport to join in the festivities including food, music and an opportunity to welcome Santa Claus. Santa will arrive by private aircraft at 10:00 a.m. and will greet children in the terminal until 2:00 p.m. Children who wish to bring donations for the Airlift can give them directly to Santa. Live Christmas music will be provided by several groups throughout the day and food will be available from King’s Corner Restaurant onsite. The event will last from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and the rain date is Sunday, December 15th.
Collection boxes for toys will be setup at public airports across Virginia. Last year the sixth annual Christmas Toy Airlift brought in over 1000 toys for children of military personnel in addition to gifts and over $1,000 in gift cards for McGuire Veterans Hospital. Pilots flew in from as far away as Martinsville, WVA and drove in from as far away as Galax, VA.
This year the event has been renamed in honor of its founder and longtime organizer, Betty Vinson, of the Virginia Chapter Ninety-Nines, who passed away on September 4, 2013.
The Ninety-Nines, Inc. (an international organization of women pilots) was founded in 1929 by 99 licensed women pilots for the mutual support and advancement of aviation.