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Fantasy Flight takes Phoenix kids to 'see' Santa

(United Fantasy Flight Photo)

PHOENIX -- Over the past two decades, thousands of underprivileged local children have stepped aboard their very first airplane ride to head to the North Pole.

In Phoenix, Capt. Bob Miller has flown the 45-minute United Fantasy Flights out of Sky Harbor, across Valley skies, and back to Terminal Two on another side of the airport.

The children step off to find Santa, his reindeer, and a whole bunch of other surprises waiting for them.

While the children may be more excited to see St. Nick, Miller is excited to see the children inspired.

"They get to learn that there's a big wide world out there on a real airplane, a real jet liner, and see the world from a different perspective," he said.

Over the years, Fantasy Flight has raised enough money to send the children back to school with fond memories and high hopes.

Recently, "We bought 40 e-Kindle readers for Concordia Charter school because they're lacking in technology," Miller said. "and, when the kids are lacking in technology, they're left behind."

The next Fantasy Flight takes off Dec. 6. While there are hundreds of volunteers who make it happen every year, Miller said there are costs for fuel, food, and school supplies.

To meet those needs, Miller and the crew will hold a fundraiser Oct. 17 at My Wine Cellar, from 6 to 7 p.m. Cost is $25 for wine and food. The shop is located at 5030 E. Warner Road in southeast Phoenix.

About the Author

Holliday Moore is a Phoenix native with more than 25 years experience in the local and national broadcast and media industry. A graduate of ASU's journalism program, with a second major in Marketing & Management, she considers herself one of the lucky few to be doing exactly what she loves, writing and producing news.

In 2012, she won a prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for a light feature radio story on snakes. For the record, snakes do not say much! She is also honored to be one of two nominees this year for a Mark Twain Award involving her series on Arizona drowning cases.

Among her career accomplishments, Moore has taken home a television Emmy for Cultural Issues Reporting on the Navajo/Hopi Partition Land Act. She has also won numerous Emmy nominations for hard, soft and even sports reporting. However, Moore considers her highest achievement was on the day she received the prestigious Walter Cronkite Political Excellence Award for developing the Scripps Television stations' Democracy 2000 & 2002 program. Bob Morford, ABC 15's News Director at the time, asked Moore to head the project with one wish, "Try not to lose ratings," he said. "We not only did not lose ratings," says Moore, "We actually improved ratings between the coveted 5:00-6:30pm news block."

"She created, designed and executed the award winning program," recalls Morford, "Her efforts brought a great deal of notice and credit to our station."

Moore loves a challenge and is an adrenaline junky by nature. She ran 400 hurdles in college and more recently half marathons to raise thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She works part time for KTAR Radio while volunteering for her young son's elementary school and running a freelance media services business.


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