Even Hurricane Maria could not prevent the Kiwanis Club of Wilton from celebrating the 25th anniversary of its annual citrus sale, although the storm did change some of its offerings.

Tree-ripened grapefruit and oranges will be picked and then quickly shipped from Florida and delivered fresh in a refrigerated truck. They will be joined by Halos shipped from California. The pre-order deadline is Feb. 20, and pickup begins at noon on Friday, March 2.

“Over the last quarter-century the fruit has consistently met very high quality standards and we expect the same this year” said Fred Sindel, head of the distribution effort.

“While hurricanes and severe weather have impacted various suppliers, particularly in Florida, we are pleased to announce that we will maintain the same prices as last year” said Dave Hapke, head of the Kiwanis Citrus Sale.

The sale has grown well beyond local residents buying fresh fruit for their personal use. Businesses, clubs and other organizations are partnering with Kiwanis to sell fruit for their own charitable efforts. This coupled with generous donations from friends and supporters has enabled Wilton Kiwanis to annually distribute thousands of dollars to worthy charitable organizations. It is by far the largest fund-raising activity for Wilton’s oldest service organization.

“Since this is our 25th anniversary, we are hoping to set a new record in terms of both sales and donations” said Kiwanis president John Kalamarides. Last year more than 1,300 cases were sold raising over $10,000, in addition to many cases donated to local food pantries and shelters.

One hundred percent of all net proceeds are distributed to local charitable causes with an emphasis on helping the welfare of children and teens. They include: Wilton Social Services, Wilton Youth Council, Trackside Teen Center and the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

Online orders may be placed at wiltonkiwanis.org. Order forms may also be downloaded and then mailed with payment to Wilton Kiwanis Foundation, P.O. Box 204, Wilton, CT 06897.