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(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.

Holliday Moore,

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