Xmas Trees Donated To Marines

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(Hilmar, CA)
Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sam Minturn of Hilmar in Merced County operates "choose & cut" tree farms near his home and in San Joaquin County. He and other members of the California Christmas Tree Association are donating trees to marines stationed at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego. Minturn says growers are collaborating with a delivery company on this project.

"Fed Ex agreed to ship them for free and we're hoping to get about 750 trees on the load."

Staff Sergeant Nathaniel Garcia, a spokesman at Camp Pendleton says the trees are expected to arrive in about a week. He added the gesture by the growers and Fed Ex is appreciated.

"It helps to boost morale during the holiday season when they're away from homes, away from their families."

Minturn says he's attempting to contact active duty military personnel in the Hilmar area to offer them a free tree.
About three million Christmas trees are sold in California each year. Only 300-thousand are grown in the state. The others are trucked in from other states.