- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

SPANISH FORK, Utah (AP) - Santa made a high-flying holiday event in Utah extra-special for one couple when he helped a man propose to his girlfriend.

The man in red gave his sleigh a break and rode a helicopter to the Spanish Fork-Springville Airport on Wednesday. He gave out toys and heard Christmas wishes from girls and boys in southern Utah County, the Daily Herald newspaper in Provo reported (https://bit.ly/2i6V5eR ).

He also had a couple of adult guests: Andy Hartman and girlfriend Cierra Memmott of Salem. Hartman knows the man who got the event going and asked if he could tag along to pop the question.

When it was their turn with Santa, the couple positioned themselves on either knee. After mischievously asking the smiling couple if they were married, the jolly old elf passed Hartman a small box.

Hartman got down on one knee and asked Memmott to be his wife. The crowd applauded when she said yes, mouth open in surprise and unshed tears in her eyes.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Memmott said. “I expected April.”

“I had to throw her off,” Hartman said, smiling. The couple has been together for more than a year.

His friend Levi Berry worked with the airport management to start the Santa flight event last year, inspired by a similar holiday tradition at a local airport in Philadelphia, where he went to medical school.

Hartman asked if he could propose at the event this year, and Berry became his bridge to Santa. Hartman gave his friend the ring just before the helicopter landed. Berry passed the special box to the man in red and briefed him on the proposal.

Berry said it was a blast to be part of the life-changing event.

He’s hoping to do the event at Spanish Fork-Springville Airport every year, and planning to make a charity food drive the focus next year.


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