This is the first year the Colorado Aviation Business Association has held its Holiday Charity Drive to benefit Colorado’s Veterans of Foreign Wars; collected toys and nonperishable foods will aid veteran families throughout the state. The organization, which advocates aviation business in Colorado, began collecting donations back in mid-October at boxes placed in various airports and business locations statewide.
Although collections ended on Nov. 30, the charity drive will continue at the Aviation Business Association’s holiday party held on Friday, Dec. 2 at Centennial Airport in Arapahoe County. With the help of the Metropolitan State College Aviation Department’s Flight Team, students of that program will donate their time and money for aircraft rentals to fly donations on 13 aircraft to three Colorado locations, including Montrose, Trinidad and Burlington, where they will be greeted by local members of Colorado’s Veterans of Foreign Wars to help distribute the food and toys.
George Laurence of Montrose VFW Post 784 is excited about Sunday’s delivery of donations, which will be split between Montrose and Delta VFW Post 3571, because he knows there are some who will welcome the holiday help.
“I don’t have an idea on how much we are going to get, but we will have enough boots on the ground to handle whatever they bring,” Laurence says. “I know we have some veterans in need here in Montrose, and we are here to do anything we can to help them.”
“We are supporting what is basically a Denver operation to ship donated food,” says Kenn Kline, customer service manager at the Black Canyon Jet Center, which is the Montrose Regional Airport’s fixed base operator. “As far as I know, this is the first time something like this has been organized here. It’s a combination of the aviation community through CABA, Metro State College providing rental aircraft, pilots volunteering their time, the FBO receiving the planes and VFW volunteers delivering the donations. It’s a great idea, it fits right in with what we do here at the airport, and it keeps us connected with the local VFW.”
CABA Holiday Charity Drive organizers offer thanks to the local VFW posts involved in the program as well as the students donating their time to help with this year’s efforts. Special acknowledgement is also due to all of the aviation partners that have stepped forward to help so many this season with their sponsorship of the event. These sponsors include: WestStar Aviation, Signature Flight Support, Centennial Interport, Colorado Heli‐Ops, Bombardier Aerospace, the Denver Air Center, Cerretani Aviation, Aircell, M&N Aviation, and Falcon Development.