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Rotary citrus is back

Article Published: Dec. 1, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

The Rotary Club hopes a touch of Florida sunshine will melt your winter blues.
The organization's annual holiday fruit sale is under way and, according to Boone Sunrise Rotary Club president Bob de Camara, 70 extra cases mean more opportunities to stock up.

"It's a healthy gift this time of year," he said. "You have the temperature changing, getting darker ... people's immune systems go down."

Add in Florida citrus, "And it's one way to, I think, brighten the darkness of early winter by having this fruit, just enormous oranges and grapefruit," he said.
Complete with immune-boosting vitamin C, "it's the gift of health and eating good food," he said, and it's a longstanding tradition for Boone Sunrise Rotary.

"This is Florida grapefruit, fresh from the growers and, unlike grapefruit dollars spent with the supermarket that always goes into the supermarket's profit, our funds go to support all of our charitable donations," de Camara said.

Donations like to children in Chile who, thanks to Rotarian money, will get to go to music school. Rotary Club funds local scholarships, sponsors American Red Cross blood drives and, last year, gave 1,500 dictionaries to students in Watauga and Avery county schools.

"And that's just some of what we do," de Camara said.

Add in river cleanups and other direct volunteer activities, and you have an idea of what the Rotary Club means to the High Country.
Add in the health benefits of Florida citrus, and you have what de Camara confirms is a win-win.

"There's an awful lot that we eat over the holidays," he said. "This is an antidote to that temptation to strictly imbibe junk food."

The Rotary Club sells out each year, anywhere from 800 to 1,000 cases.
The fruit, stored at Legends at Appalachian State University while awaiting pickup, is worth a taste and makes a great gift, he said.
The selection includes red grapefruit, navel oranges, Hamlin juice oranges and Florida tangelos.
Fruit will be available at Legends Dec. 9-12. For more information, visit

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