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Camp Pendleton Families To Receive Free Christmas Trees

— Roughly 900 donated Christmas trees will be distributed to troops and their families at Camp Pendleton today.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Damien Gutierrez

Photo credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Military families pick out Christmas trees at the Camp Pendleton Trees for Troops giveaway on Dec. 2, 2010.

The eighth annual Trees for Troops program is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Rattlesnake Canyon Road parking lot on the North County Marine Corps installation, according to Pendleton's public affairs office.

Santa Claus and costumed characters from SeaWorld San Diego are scheduled to be on hand. A craft and hobby workshop, face painting, music, bounce houses, a children's obstacle course and paintball are also planned.

The program is sponsored by the nonprofit Christmas Spirit Foundation, which annually donates an average of 17,000 Christmas trees to more than 60 military bases across the country.

Many of the trees going to the troops were purchased over the past weekend by civilians at one of more than 30 participating Christmas tree lots and farms around the country and shipped by FedEx to the various military bases, according to the foundation's website. Online monetary donations also were accepted.

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