December 2001


Stratford Point Light Goat Island Light

Friends of Flying Santa has been busy preparing for the 73rd year of aerial Santa visits to New England lighthouses and Coast Guard stations. The tragic events of September 11 had placed an air of uncertainty over this year's flights. We were unsure if the current airspace restrictions would prevent us from visiting a number of the lighthouses on our routes. We were relieved to hear from the Coast Guard and our pilots that the necessary waivers will be obtained by the time we take to the air. We here at the Friends feel that it is especially important that this year of all years, we pay special recognition to the men and women of the Coast Guard and their families. In recent months, many of the Coast Guard resources throughout the country have been tasked to provide additional security for our nation's ports and other marine interests. This has required many long hours and precious time away from home for many of the boat and station crews. This same dedication to duty is what inspired the first Flying Santas, Capt. William Wincapaw, his son Bill and later, author Edward Rowe Snow to carry on this New England tradition of appreciation. We look forward to the chance to thank these Coasties for their dedicated efforts as they come together with their families for our annual lighthouse and station visits.

Our first flight will be on Saturday, December 8th and will cover lighthouses and stations on Massachusetts' North and South Shore. Flying Santa will stop at Newburyport Harbor (Plum Island), Annisquam Harbor, Eastern Point, Boston, Scituate and Plymouth (Gurnet) lighthouse as well as USCG Stations Point Allerton and Cape Cod Canal.

Our second flight on Sunday, December 9th will take us to a dozen lights from Cape Cod to Long Island, New York. Our Santa for this trip, CWO Dave Waldrip will make stops at Cape Cod (Highland), Chatham, Brant Point, West Chop, Nobska, Warwick, Castle Hill, Point Judith, Montauk, Stratford Point, and Lynde Point Light, finishing the day at Eaton's Neck Light at Long Island's western end. Once again our pilot will be the venerable Dale (No landing site is too small) Hardy from Wiggins Airways. Dale has been flying our Santas for over a dozen years and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have the services of one of the industry's finest pilots.

Our third flight takes to the air on Saturday, December 15th. For the seventh year in a row, we will make our flights from Portsmouth, New Hampshire thanks to the generous people at Fisher Scientific International. They have again donated the use of their Agusta 109 helicopter and crew for our Santa visits in New Hampshire and Maine. Secure in the skilled hands of pilots Art Godjikian and LaRay Todd, we will be visiting the following lighthouses; Portsmouth Harbor, Goat Island, Portland Head, Burnt Island, Pemaquid Point, Marshall Point, Owl's Head, Brown's Head, Dice Head, Fort Point and Bass Harbor Head. Before heading back to Portsmouth, we will plot a course downeast to the far northern reaches of coastal Maine for our stop at USCG Station Jonesport. We are sure to receive just as warm and cheerful a reception from this isolated outpost as we did last year.

In these three days of flights, we will be visiting over 500 children and their families at over 30 lighthouses and Coast Guard stations in six states. Each lighthouse will again receive the traditional Christmas gift box containing candy, potato chips, coffee, tea, shaving products and ornaments. Still many of the same staples that Capt. Wincapaw and Edward Rowe Snow delivered on their flights so many years ago. None of this would be possible without the generous support and assistance of all our volunteers, contributors and sponsors. You continue to come through for us year after year in our efforts to show the Coast Guard personnel of New England how much they are appreciated. Thank you from all of us at Friends of Flying Santa and let's all keep our fingers crossed that Mother Nature does her part in keeping the weather clear.

The drawing for our Lighthouse Helicopter Tour raffle was held Columbus Day at USCG Station Point Allerton in Hull, MA. We had originally planned to draw the winning tickets during our Columbus Day lighthouse cruise on Narragansett Bay. But the cancellation of the cruise forced us to find an alternate venue. With a short ride to Point Allerton we enlisted the help of the commanding officer, CWO Patrick Higgins, BM2 Steven Pickard and BM2 Jason Brown in drawing the lucky winners. A long time supporter, Jim Kenworthy of Rockland MA, won the 1st prize of a helicopter flight to six South Shore lighthouses. Mr. Kenworthy enjoyed his prize two weeks later on Sunday, October 21 as he took to the air with pilot Chuck Edgar of Chatham. A special note of thanks to Mr. Edgar who donated his time and helicopter for this special prize. 2nd prize, a framed "Lighthouses of Massachusetts" lithograph by photographer Brian Tague was won by Gerry Kelly of Hull, MA. And Tom Hettinger of Warminster, PA won the 3rd prize of a Flying Santa T-shirt, sweatshirt and hat gift pack. Congratulations to the lucky winners and thank you to everyone who participated in making this a successful fundraiser! Stay tuned for details on next year's raffle which will feature a custom lighthouse boat charter with Nautical Adventure Charters.


This Christmas, our Flying Santas will be delivering a delightful Friends of Flying Santa Teddy Bear to many of the children along our route. This 11-inch, musical white bear, decked out in a Santa hat and gift bag, is also available for purchase through our website or by using the enclosed order form. Proceeds from this commemorative toy will help pay for the increased chartering costs facing us this year. You can help support the Friends with the purchase of this festive item for the children on your holiday lists.

We invite our Friends to check out our newly redesigned website at We have added a number of new pages and photographs and are working on two special sections that will spotlight the lives of Capt. William Wincapaw and Edward Rowe Snow. Those of you that enjoyed reading about their roles with the Flying Santa tradition will be equally interested in the many adventures these two men experienced over the course of their lives. Our Photo Galleries have also been expanded to highlight more of what our mission is all about. We have also provided links to the websites of our many generous sponsors. So stop on by and don't forget to check out our new Gift Items page for our growing line of Flying Santa apparel.

We regretfully announce that Judy Morris, our Board of Trustee clerk and a long time supporter of the Flying Santa program has resigned. Judy has worked tirelessly for the Friends since the first day she came on board. She devoted many volunteer hours to various projects and on two occasions, she flew as Flying Santa's elf for the Cape to New York flights. She will be missed very much. The entire board offers our sincerest thanks and wishes her well in her future endeavors. We would also like to announce the addition of Sally Snowman to the Friends Board of Trustees. Sally is quite active with the Coast Guard auxiliary and has recently completed a wonderful book on Boston Light entitled Boston Light - A Historical Perspective. Welcome aboard Sally, we look forward to working with you.

Friends of Flying Santa is planning a number of fundraising events in 2002. Our first event of the year will be a three-day bus trip to tour the lighthouses of southern and mid-coast Maine. The tour is scheduled for May 17th, 18th and 19th and reservations will be limited to 51 people. This is our second year making this tour and judging by the success of last year's trip we expect to sell out early. The month of June will once again feature our Massachusetts Bay lighthouse cruise to nine lighthouses from Boston Harbor north to Gloucester. We will also be offering a one-day bus trip to lighthouses on Cape Cod on August 17th. The Friends have made this trip in past years and it has always been an enjoyable excursion for all involved. We will close up our season of fundraising events in October with the popular Narragansett Bay lighthouse cruise. We will be providing more details on all these events in future newsletters as well as our website.


For the past three years, Friends of Flying Santa and Yankee Magazine have joined together in a unique partnership. Through their very popular Community Partnership program, we have been able to offer our friends subscriptions to the magazine at the discounted rate of $20 per year. Their regular rate is $24 per year. With each subscription order placed through the Friends, Yankee donates $10 to the Friends of Flying Santa Endowment Fund. To date the endowment has been enriched by almost $1500. If you are interested in receiving or renewing Yankee Magazine please click on the following link for ordering information:

Yankee Magazine's Commmunity Partners

This makes a great gift for your friends or family. Thanks for your support!


Published 4 times
per year.
Brian Tague
The cost of printing our newsletter is partially funded by
the Plymouth County Development Council



PO BOX 80047
Stoneham, MA 02180-0001
Tel: (781) 438-4587