Big Bear Valley, Ca, December 2, 2010, 3:00pm – REI, the outdoor adventure mega store has generously given a large gift of 34,000 pieces of outdoor gear and clothing valued at $1.17 Million dollars to the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, which includes Big Bear Valley’s own Camp Whittle.  The large donation was brought to Camp Whittle by two semi trucks, and was sorted on Thursday December 2nd by staff and volunteers from YMCA camps including Camp Whittle, Camp Edwards, Camp Oaks , Camp Ta Ta Pochon, and the Santa Monica YMCA-Camp Big Bear.

Volunteers sorted through backpacks, jackets, sweaters, long underwear, water bottles, head bands, gloves, shoes, bike gear and more.  REI’s gift is a result of a fire at its Eugene store on August 30th, which left 90% of the stores products as unsuitable for retail sale.  “Some of the jackets smell like a campfire,” said Executive Director of Camping Services for Camp Whittle Liz Ortenburger, “But Campfire smell works for us.”  Ortenburger told KBHR that the donation will have a long term impact for the camps.

Ortenburger and the rest of the YMCA crew were very gracious and excited to receive the generous gift from REI.

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