Tree lots open for season

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, November 24, 2011

Scott Cogswell and Tom Scharenbrock bale a tree for a customer at the Knights of Columbus tree lot this week. The Knights of Columbus and Elks Lodge both are selling Christmas trees to raise money for their community service projects.

If you’re looking to get a real Christmas tree this year that will benefit a local organization, there are two options in Suffolk open to customers now.

The Knights of Columbus Suffolk Council 7363 and the Elks Lodge No. 685 both are selling Fraser firs and blue spruce trees as fundraisers for their community service projects.

“People buy a tree from us for one reason — they know where the money’s going,” said Mike Bibbo, tree sale chairman for the Knights of Columbus. “Every dollar stays in this community.”

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The Knights of Columbus members support numerous projects with the proceeds from their tree sales, including the Special Olympics, a scholarship fund, the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund, food and wheelchair ramps for people who cannot afford them, the Keim Center, their own Keep Christ in Christmas initiatives, poinsettias and lilies at Christmas and Easter for people who are homebound, and more.

The Elks Lodge also uses the money for its community projects.

“We usually sell out,” said Jimmy Franks, tree sale chairman. He noted that the tree sale is one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers each year.

Both organizations get their trees from the same provider. They were cut on Nov. 15, making them several months fresher than those typically supplied to department and home improvement stores.

The Knights of Columbus are selling their trees, which measure up to 14 feet tall, for between $32 and $95, depending upon the variety and size. The lot is located at 1202 N. Main St. in front of the Fire Mountain restaurant. Lot hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Call 539-5732 for more information.

The Elks Lodge trees go for $45 or $50. The organization’s lot is located at 329 W. Constance Road. It is open from 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call 539-3811.