Last week, United Airlines sponsored Fantasy Flights at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, and Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois
On Saturday, December 7 in Chicago, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs brought love and joy to dozens of children fighting pediatric cancers and their families at United Airlines O'Hare Terminal 1 as they boarded a plane to the North Pole.
United Fantasy Flight is a volunteer effort by United employees and sponsors. United Airlines provides the plane, use of the terminal, a flight crew, and hundreds of other employee volunteers who bring the North Pole to life with Santa, Elves, Reindeers, Wooden Soldiers, Sugar Plum Fairies, and other characters.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were present to add smiles to the children's faces who are going through some of the most difficult health struggles. Each child received a Comfort Dog stuffy and a Polaroid picture of them and their families with the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs.
Making their wishes a reality was Cal’s Angels, a non-profit whose mission is “granting wishes, raising awareness and funding research to help kids fighting cancer.”
The LCC K-9 Ministry team included Comfort Dogs Dinah (Trinity Lutheran - Auburn, Illinois), Emma and Ruthie (LCC Staff), Katie (Trinity Lutheran - Fremont, Nebraska), Rachel (Immanuel Lutheran - Charleston, Illinois), Comfort Dog-in-Training Rahab, LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Nigel (LCC Staff), and LCC Police Ministry Dog Eve (St. John's - Lombard, Illinois).
Newark International Airport, Newark, New Jersey
On Wednesday, December 11, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs served at the Newark Intercontinental Airport in Newark for the United Airlines Fantasy Flight.
The LCC K-9 Ministry team included Comfort Dogs Amos (Our Savior's Way - Ashburn, Virginia), Abraham (Trinity - Hicksville, New York), Kezia (Emmanuel – Baltimore, Maryland), Maggie (Christ the King - Newtown, Connecticut), Leah (Immanuel - Danbury, Connecticut), Lily (Good Shepherd - Old Bridge, New Jersey), and Lydia (Messiah - Lynnfield, Massachusetts).
Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas
On Saturday, December 14, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs served at the George Bush-Intercontinental Airport for the United Airlines Fantasy Flight.
Aboard a Boeing 777, parents had the opportunity to experience a fun day with their entire families. For many of the children, it was their first flight. Before the take off, one young man had a serious conversation with the pilot and asked him to please not fly upside down. The pilot promised he would not and then proceeded to tell the children a bit of what they would experience as he promised them a smooth ride. There was a great amount of excitement as the families boarded the plane. While in flight, each child received a Comfort Dog stuffy. As they arrived at the North Pole armed with their new furry friends, Santa and Mrs. Claus plus a host of costumed characters greeted the children.
The LCC K-9 Ministry team included Comfort Dogs Damaris (Memorial - Katy, Texas), Gabriel (Messiah - Houston, Texas), Joy (Gloria Dei – Houston, Texas), Martha (Bethany - Austin, Texas), and Pax and Phoebe (St. Paul - Fort Worth, Texas).
The children and their families will no doubt remember the magic of this day. For the comfort dogs teams, we know those memories will live for a long time.