Safety tree: Vice Mayor Charles Brown, Pilot Club of Suffolk President Roberta Powell and Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett lit the Safety Tree on last month at the Elks Lodge on West Constance Road. (Tracy Agnew/Suffolk News-Herald)

Archived Story

Tree has green streak

Published 11:24pm Monday, January 7, 2013

For the first time in several years, the Safety Tree stayed green all holiday season long.

The Pilot Club of Suffolk project has rarely seen a completely green month in its more than 25 years of existence, said Leah Powell, projects coordinator for the club.

“We’re just glad to have a safe Christmas,” she said.

The club puts up a tree outside the Elks Lodge, 329 W. Constance Road, and decorates it with green bulbs at the beginning of each December. The Elks donate both the tree and the space for it, Powell said.

For every traffic fatality that occurs during the month, a bulb is changed from green to red. Fortunately, that didn’t have to happen this holiday season.

“It’s just been so great having a safe month,” Powell said.

Though the city went without a traffic fatality this holiday season, it did see a fire death and two homicides, which are things that also increase around the holidays.

Powell said the club has no immediate plans to add fire deaths or homicides to the types of untimely deaths the Safety Tree covers. The club prefers to focus on safe driving, because that is something everyone can contribute to and help accomplish, she said.

“We’re trying to promote safe driving,” she said. “We’re looking out for the highways.”

The Safety Tree will be back next year, and Powell hopes its green streak will continue.

“We hope that everyone will keep in mind to drive safely throughout the year,” she said.

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  • Sharon Daughtrey

    Dear Editor Agnew,
    My daughter & I look for the safety tree every year. We religiously check it daily in December as we pray for traveling mercies. We were very disappointed when we couldn’t find it this year. After riding back & forth up Main St. we concluded that the safety tree no longer existed.
    My eyes gleamed with joy as I picked up Tuesday’s paper & found that not only did we have a safety tree there were no red bulbs for Dec. What A Blessing!
    I as so excited I couldn’t wait for my daughter to get home from school so yes I sent her a tex. (I just couldn’t hold it).She returned a big smiley face.
    I just want to say Thank You to the Pilots Club and The Elks–This family appreciates your efforts in increasing our awareness. Next Year we will be sure to check Constance Road as well. Sharon and AnToneah Daughtrey

    Suggest Removal

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