An annual community wide effort led by the to sell Christmas Trees for charity opens Friday at .
The Optimists have been offering Christmas Trees to local residents for more than 50 years according to Mike Buck. They also get plenty of help from the Deerfield High School tennis and wrestling teams.
The tree lot at Jewett Park will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays until Christmas.
The Optimists began setting up shop Saturday and Sunday when the Warrior wrestlers unloaded 1,000 trees from trucks as members of the Optimists set up the facility. Wrestling Coach Marc Pechter has led his athletes in this effort for a number of years.
“It’s an amazing site to see the young men unload the trees in an hour or two,” Buck said. “It used to take us a lot longer.”
This year the Optimists had some adversity to deal with. Only 300 trees arrived Saturday and the remaining ones came Sunday as a truck from Canada was delayed making it from the border to Deerfield. That is when the Optimists got help from the Trinity University football team as well as the Warrior wrestlers.
“Seven hundred trees were unloaded, unwrapped and set in their stands in an hour and a half,” Judy Geuder, Optimist Christmas Tree lot chairman, said. “I want to express my ultimate gratitude for all of their hard work.”
The trees will be sold by individual along with members of the Deerfield High School boys and girls tennis teams. The athletes have been a regular part of the tradition as well. For the students the project goes beyond helping with a charitable effort.
“It gives them (the students) a chance to look someone in the eye and sell something,” Buck said. “Some of them have never had to do anything like that before. It teaches them how to sell.”
Proceeds from the sale will go to youth projects like an essay contest for special needs middle school students, scholarships based on community service, a picnic with games at a cancer camp a basketball tournament for middle school teams and an Easter egg hunt.
Three types of fir trees—Fraser, Balsam and Canaan—and Scotch Pine will be available.