Tag Archives: North Pole

Pilot and Son’s Story Comes Full Circle at SkyWest Flight to the North Pole

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

12_09-MKE-FantasyFlight_00150When Chicago-based CRJ Captain Tim Schuh heard about the opportunity to serve as crew on the SkyWest-sponsored Flight to the North Pole benefiting children with life-threatening illness in the Milwaukee area, he immediately volunteered to serve as Captain of the special flight.  He was eager to give back after his personal experience at the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital with his own infant son.

“Our time in the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital NICU, spending all day sitting by our baby, feeling helpless, was the most difficult month of our lives,” Captain Schuh remembers. “I know how the other families are feeling. Even though Oliver has obstacles to overcome, many of the other families are dealing with even more difficult prognoses.”

Captain Schuh and his wife were expecting their first child earlier this year.  At their 20-week ultrasound appointment, they were planning on discovering the gender when they learned their baby had spina bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. The effects are lifelong. As a result of spina bifida, the baby also had hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of fluid in the brain. image5

On Aug. 25, 2017, their son, Oliver, was born. Within 12 hours of his birth, he had surgery on his back to close the damaged area. While he was healing, he contracted meningitis, making surgery to address the hydrocephalus impossible until he recovered from that infection. To provide temporary relief to the pressure in his head, an orange tube was placed from his head to an exterior bag. Finally, once the meningitis healed, baby Oliver was able to undergo the secondary surgery to relieve the hydrocephalus.

Captain Schuh and his wife were finally able to take their son home on Sept. 27 and he is doing well. They are grateful to the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital for everything they did for their family, including several lifesaving operations and treatments all while keeping them informed and teaching them everything they needed to know along the way.

“I wanted to help with the Milwaukee Flight to the North Pole because it is a small thing I am able to do to help the kids and families going through difficult times,” Captain Schuh said.

12_09-MKE-FantasyFlight_00216The efforts of Captain Schuh and the rest of the SkyWest volunteers at the Milwaukee Flight to the North Pole helped brighten the holidays for children and their families going through the toughest of times. These team members are shining examples of the giving spirit of SkyWest people.

Read more about SkyWest’s Flight to the North Pole.

Find out how to join the SkyWest team.

 

SkyWest Flies Children to “North Pole”

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Pure joy and merriment filled the Colorado Springs, Colorado (COS) and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE) airports this weekend as SkyWest crews flew more than 100 children to a special destination not found on any route map: the North Pole.

SkyWest Fantasy Flight – COS
At the 11th annual Fantasy Flight, SkyWest crews gave Rudolph the night off, welcoming 30 eager children onboard a CRJ200 for a 30-minuite flight to the “North Pole.” Partnering the Junior League of Colorado Springs and CPCD…giving children a head start, the night spread holiday cheer to children who live at or below poverty level.

IMG_3149“Fantasy Flight brings a magical atmosphere of wonder and cheer to the children in Colorado Springs,” said Lori Hunt, SkyWest’s vice president of People. “Every year, SkyWest people are delighted to play a part in creating this unforgettable event.”

These young passengers, many of whom would otherwise receive little to nothing on Christmas morning, were greeted by mascots, carolers as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves as they enjoyed crafts, games, a festive meal and gifts from their wish lists in a Christmas wonderland created by volunteers. The goal of the event: to provide memories of happiness and cheer for each of the children involved.

“This is a special experience that not everyone gets to have, we feel so privileged,” said Rebecca Brown whose son Ryman participated in the event. “As soon as we found out he was invited, he started flying around pretending to be an airplane. The whole thing has been a great time and experience.”

The Flight to the North Pole – MKEMKE FF
The Flight to the North Pole helped brighten the season for 72 children from Milwaukee Children’s Hospital suffering from serious illness and their families as they boarded a SkyWest CRJ700 and took a 20-minute ride to the “North Pole” (a nearby hangar decked out in holiday style!). While it never left the ground, the festive ride provided much needed smiles and wonderment to the tiny passengers.

The event meant a little something more to the captain operating the special flight, Captain Tim Schuh, who’s newborn son spent several weeks at Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital this past summer.

“We are so thankful for everything Children’s Hospital did for our family,” said Captain Schuh. “They did several life -saving operations and treatments and were always so good at keeping us informed and teaching us everything we had to know. I wanted to take part in this event because it is a small thing that I am able to do to help the kids and the families that are going through difficult times there. I know how they are feeling. Even though my son has obstacles to overcome in life, many of the families at Children’s are dealing with even more difficult news and prognosis.”IMG_3143

Both events, made possible through the hard work of SkyWest elves and countless volunteers from various other organizations, welcomed in the warmth of the holiday season providing a day full of Christmas magic to all in attendance! These events are another example of the many ways SkyWest people brighten the journey of passengers young and old.

Take a look at more photos from the events!

Now Boarding for the North Pole!

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

mke_north-poleSkyWest’s industry-leading team works together every day of the year to carry more than 30 million passengers to 202 destinations throughout North America. Recently, the SkyWest team had the opportunity to take some very special passengers to a magical destination not found on a SkyWest route map: the North Pole!

SkyWest Fantasy Flight in Colorado Springs and the Flight to the North Pole in Milwaukee brought joy and the 12-10_cos-fantasy-flight-045miracle of the holiday season to children living below poverty level, children with special needs and children suffering from serious illness. The generous efforts of SkyWest people helped create
treasured memories for these children that will last a lifetime.

The Flight to the North Pole helped brighten the season for 14 children suffering from serious illness and their families as they boarded two SkyWest CRJ200s and took a 20-minute ride to the “North Pole” (a nearby hangar decked out in holiday style!). While the ride was a short one, it provided much needed smiles and wonderment to all onboard.
12-10_cos-fantasy-flight-035The 10th annual Fantasy Flight in Colorado Springs took 49 eager children to meet Santa Claus at the “North Pole” as well! These tiny passengers, many of whom would otherwise  receive little to nothing on Christmas morning, filled the CRJ700 with holiday cheer as flight attendants led the children in Christmas carols on their 30-minute journey.

12-10_cos-fantasy-flight-089As the families deplaned, they were greeted by mascots, carolers and Santa Claus himself! The “North Poles” in both Milwaukee and Colorado Springs were a child’s Christmas dreamland, complete with crafts, games, a Christmas meal and gifts from their wish lists. The goal: to provide happiness and cheer, even if for just one day. The smiles on the faces of everyone involved proved they did just that.

mke_flightA special thanks to all of our team members, from Maintenance and Customer Service to Flight Ops and InFlight, for their efforts to spread holiday cheer to our special passengers. These events are just another way SkyWest people give back to the community and share the miracle of flight with even the smallest of flyers!