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Helicopter delivers Santa and presents

Santa Claus typically uses his sleigh but not for an early Christmas visit to Paintsville!

The event started more than 10 years ago and grows every year.

"The event obviously is for the kids and to help the parents of the kids who can't afford to buy all of the toys they need to get for Christmas," said John Mischel, an organizer of the event.

More than 400 kids lined up all for the same reason.

"Cause I really wanted to see Santa Claus. And I just love Christmas and really wanted to get presents," said 9-year-old Hailey Skeens of Paintsville.

"See the helicopter land and sit in Santa's lap," said 7-year-old Keith Caudill of Paintsville.

And parents just to see their children's smiling faces.

"My daughter loves Christmas time and Santa Claus. We just thought where he was coming in on a helicopter, it would be great to bring her and let her see that," said Angela Thompson, mother of one daughter.

Every child sat on Santa's lap, received presents and a bag of fruit.

Without this event, some parents might not be able to give their children a Christmas at all.

"I'm very thankful for the people who did this event because there's a lot of kids that might not even get presents this year. I think it's just wonderful to do this for Paintsville," said Thompson.

Many say they cannot wait to come back next year.

People and local businesses donated money, toys, and hats and gloves for the event.

Organizers say this year was their best yet for donations.


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