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Pumpkin King is honorary Kiwanis member
Chuck Crutchfield holds the plaque making George Perry Sr., right, an honorary member of the Sunrise Kiwanis Club while his son George Perry Jr. looks on. - photo by Photo Contributed

George Perry has been made an honorary member of the Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis service club.

George Perry & Sons is a family agricultural business that was started over 80 years ago. It was founded by George’s father, Delphino, who was an immigrant from the Azore Islands. Delphino established a dairy and laid the foundation of what was to become one of Manteca’s largest agricultural efforts.

George worked hard alongside his father.  In 1965 he continued his efforts to find ways to expand the family business and began buying and selling watermelons from local growers in order to fulfill the increasing demands from customers.

Today, generations of Perrys have joined the family business that George has helped build into one of the largest shipper of pumpkins in the United States, the largest shipper of watermelons in California, and one of the largest year-round supplier of melons and squash.

George was instrumental in establishing the Manteca Pumpkin Festival now the Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair.  What started as a celebration for family, friends and employees has now generated over $500,000 to non-profits throughout the greater Manteca Community and San Joaquin County.

George has appeared in numerous newspapers, TV shows, and magazine articles promoting Manteca and pumpkins including being recognized in the Nov. 1, 1982 edition of “People” magazine as the “Pumpkin King.”

His company has also been recognized as the Manteca Chamber of Commerce’s Large Business of the Year.

“Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘It’s not the years in your life that count.  What counts, is the life in your years,” Kiwanis member Chuck  Crutchfield said in making the presentation.

“There is no question, that George Perry has packed a lot of good in his years,” Crutchfield said. “ It is my pleasure on behalf of Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis to present Honorary Member status to our very own ‘Pumpkin King’ George Perry.”