April 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 60 F

Chesapeake Sport Pilots bring a little Christmas to Tangier Island

On December 8th, more than 30 pilots from around the region, and all members of Chesapeake Sport Pilot,  took off from the Bay Bridge Air Park en route to Tangier Island  in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, just over the Maryland border.  But why?

Tangier Island, inhabited by about 500 colorful residents, is not so colorful around Christmastime. The salinity of the soil and the decades of erosion have made it difficult for greenery to grow–including evergreens. The did not go un-noticed by Ed McNabb fifty years ago.

Pilot Ed Nabb, Sr. started delivering holiday greens (holly) to the island in the 1960s when he realized that the rising sea level had eroded Tangier Island to the point that it no longer supported the growth of holly or other traditional Christmas evergreens. His son, Ed Nabb Jr. took the reins upon his father’s passing growing the event to nearly three dozen pilots and planes carrying holly to the island. In recent years Santa has joined the pilots to spread Christmas cheer and distribute donated toys, school needs, and elderly needs for the isolated island.

This year, the tally was impressive. $12,000 raised for islanders in need. Heaps of school supplies delivered. Mounds of supplies for the elderly delivered. And a day of doing good for a community that simply needs it–accomplished!

Tangier Island becomes more isolated in the winter. The ferry reduces service so trips to the mainland need to be coordinated. There are limited facilities on the island as well so it becomes somewhat self-sustaining as the cold settles in.

Along for the ride this year, was Glenn Miller for Eye On Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay Magazine’s Cheryl Costello.

Here’s to a job well done!

All images ©2018 Glenn A Miller Photography for Eye On Annapolis


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