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MINNEAPOLIS - There might not have been sleigh bells involved, but Nash Finch's corporate aircraft department and the local aviation unit of the Minneapolis Shriners joined forces to make Santa's job a bit easier this year.
The Zuhrah Shrine Flyers, a Shriners-allied group of aviation professionals and enthusiasts that includes Nash Finch's corporate pilot, Capt. Brett Lee, gathered and transported toys for hospitalized children in the state of Minnesota. The toys, paid for by the Zuhrah Shrine Flyers using special discounts negotiated by the group, were flown to Quality Aviation in Faribault, Minn. for distribution as part of the "Tree of Hope" charitable program.
The plane donated for the task was a twin-engine Raytheon Beechcraft King Air 300, owned and operated by Nash Finch.
The Shriners Organization has than 500,000 members. Among the group's best-known philanthropic enterprises is Shriners Hospitals For Children, a network of 22 facilities that provides expert, no-cost orthopedic and burn care for patients under 18.
Nash Finch, a leading U.S. food distribution company with nearly $4 billion in fiscal 2003 revenues, serves independent retailers and military commissaries in 27 states, the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Iceland. The company also owns and operates retail stores, primarily in the upper Midwest.