Get a tree, support a charity

Published 8:18 pm Thursday, November 22, 2012

Folks looking for a real Christmas tree this year can support one of two local charities in the process.

The Elks Lodge No. 685 and the Knights of Columbus Suffolk Council 7363 both are continuing long-standing traditions of selling fresh-cut trees and using the proceeds for charity.

Grey Aycock helps price trees at the Knights of Columbus tree lot on Saturday, Nov. 17. The charity, as well as the Elks Lodge on West Constance Road, are selling trees to fund their community service programs.

“We’ve got some really pretty trees this year,” said Jimmy Franks of the Elks Lodge. “The money is donated to charitable functions, as we do with all our functions.”

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The Elks’ Christmas tree lot is set up at 329 W. Constance Road. It is open from 4 to 8 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends until the trees sell out.

“If nobody’s out there, just ring the bell and somebody will come out there and help you,” Franks said.

There are two types of trees that will go for $45 and $50, he added.

The Knights of Columbus Christmas tree lot has a new location for its sale this year.

The Suffolk Council 7363 has held its Christmas tree sales in the parking lot of Fire Mountain prior to this year. But after the restaurant closed, the organization had to find a new location for its fundraiser.

The trees landed at Sherwin-Williams Paint Store and Line-X of Suffolk, which share a building at 2432 Pruden Blvd. The businesses graciously gave up most of their parking lot for the better part of a month, Knights of Columbus member Mike Bibbo said.

“Sherwin-Williams and Line-X have really taken care of us this year,” Bibbo said. “We’ve been fortunate.”

The charity supports a number of different causes, including the Cheer Fund, scholarships and many more, with the proceeds from the trees.

“These trees go quick,” Bibbo said. “The more we can make, the more we can budget. This is our biggest fundraiser.”

The 440 trees are from Western Pennsylvania and were unloaded Saturday, Nov. 17, by 35 cadets from the Nansemond River High School Air Force JROTC program.

“Part of their community service was to come out today and help unload the trees,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Young, instructor. The commander of the unit is Lt. Col. Alvin Odom.

The Knights of Columbus’ fir trees range in size from 6 to 12 feet and go for $29 to $99, depending on size.

The lot will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 3 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays until the trees sell out.