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Company gives 80,000 coffee packages to military

• Newhall Coffee sends ‘Patriot Blend'

Posted: May 25, 2008 12:57 a.m.
Updated: July 26, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Newhall Coffee Roasting Company showed support for Memorial Day by donating 80,000 packages of its Patriot Blend coffee to U.S. Armed Forces serving overseas.

The coffee packages will be mailed through Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization that sends personalized care packages to U.S. troops.

To date, 350,000 packages of Patriot Blend coffee have been donated to the troops.

The donation was made official during a Friday press conference at Sam's Club in Canyon Country where speakers and representatives for local politicians honored Newhall Coffee co-founders and brothers Mitch and Kyle McMullen and gave thanks to the troops serving around the world.

Mitch McMullen said that coffee is a form of patriotism as the Patriots drank coffee in the late 1700s to express their freedom.

City Councilwoman Marsha McLean, spoke as the mother of a son who is currently serving in the military.

"I know how important it is for our troops to receive packages from home," she told the audience while standing in front of packages of Patriot Blend coffee, later adding, "We all want to do what we can do to support them."

Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Larry Mankin told the story of a fallen soldier as a way to remind the crowd of the meaning of memorial and significance of the Memorial Day holiday.

The event, which featured the Santa Clarita Valley Air Force Junior ROTC and music by local performer Trish Lester, brought representatives from Rep. Howard "Buck McKeon, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, Sen. Tom McClintock and Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who gave Newhall Coffee certificates of recognition.

Local students were also invited to write thank-you letters for the soldiers, which are mailed with Operation Gratitude's care packages.

Zack Walker, 11, was selected to share his letter.

"I look up to you soldiers and someday I hope the war is over and you guys come home safely," read the Helmers Elementary School fifth-grader.

While holding a care package filled snacks, DVDs and packages of Newhall Coffee, Judy Ihrig of Operation Gratitude gave her thanks and said the packages give the soldiers "a touch of home."


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