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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 21 No. 46
Thursday December 8, 2022

Dees' Troop Christmas 2022

Dees Christmas Trees
One From The Heart
     Monday December 5th was a special day around these parts when a grand tradition begun 19 years ago during the Iran and Iraq War, moving air cargo shipments of Christmas Trees and other pleasantries to our troops, once again took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport via DHL and Dees' Nursery & Florist Inc.
     Dees' is an old-time family plant and nursery, in business near the airport since 1958 just ten years after today’s JFK, then known as Idlewild (Idlewild Airport) went into business in 1948. Dees is located just off the main runways in nearby Oceanside, New York.
     Dees' spends most of the year selling plants and trees and lawn care products to people from all over the metropolitan area.
     But once a year Dees' chops down several hundred Christmas trees from its big farm in Maine and, in partnership with DHL, sends the trees free of charge to U.S. troops in in far-flung outposts worldwide.
     The Christmas Trees for Troops initiative, now branded Operation Holiday Cheer was launched in December 2004 after local businessman the late Jim Adelis overheard a woman at Dees' Nursery near JFK inquiring about how to ship a Christmas tree to her son in Iraq. Adelis reached out to DHL and the local community to deliver more than just a single tree.
     We remember Jim, who died in April 2020, for his selfless giving spirit that has become a proud tradition lifting everyone, that continues today.
     Usually the press pick-up of this event goes mostly to DHL and their big trailers and airplanes, and the helicopter with Santa aboard that shows up at Dees' for the Christmas tree shipment before the evergreens are sent to the airport for departure.
     After all the DHL ballyhoo, Dees' has really great, fresh cut trees for sale. We had the opportunity to speak to Joseph DiDominica and Thomas & Karen DiDominica.
     “We will continue to provide these trees until the soldiers get home,” Tom said.
     “That is the least we can do to support our troops,” said brother Joe.
     Business is business, but these brothers bring home the real meaning of Christmas and make the Yuletide bright.
     Air Cargo honors those who serve.
     The straight from the shoulder, right from the heart effort of the people of DHL and especially the love and mercy of the folks of Dees' is just superb.
     Dees' has not forgotten the little folks either, with several "Pancake Breakfasts With Santa" scheduled upcoming right up to Christmas.
     Dees' is located at: 69 Atlantic Avenue, Oceanside, NY 11572. (516) 678-3535. http://www.deesnursery.com.

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