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More than 1,300 Christmas trees are sailing from Cheboygan to Chicago

USCGC Mackinaw
Wikimedia Commons
USCGC Mackinaw delivers Christmas trees from Cheboygan to Chicago Thanksgiving weekend

The Trees traveling on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw from Cheboygan this weekend will be distributed to low-income families in Chicago.

Volunteers loaded the trees and 1,400 Christmas cards from the Cheboygan community onto the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw this past week.

The "Christmas Tree Ship" dates back to the early 1900s, but has been an annual, charity-based event since 2000.

Carole Yeck, with the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce, says the tree ship unites the region and gets trees to families that otherwise wouldn't be able to celebrate the holidays with a fresh-cut tree.

"It's just really exciting as a community to really pair with the Coast Guard and become a big part of something bigger than ourselves [during] the holiday time that will help so many families in need."

The Cheboygan Main Street program is hosting a send-off party on Sunday. The Mackinaw is expected to arrive in Chicago on December first.