Keep the tree green

Published 10:49 pm Friday, December 7, 2012

Vice Mayor Charles Brown, Pilot Club of Suffolk President Roberta Powell and Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett light the Safety Tree on Thursday at the Elks Lodge on West Constance Road.

The Pilot Club of Suffolk’s Safety Tree still has a full string of green lights on it, and a Suffolk holiday season without a traffic fatality can keep it that way.

The tree, set up in front of the Elks Lodge at 329 W. Constance Road, is full of green bulbs at the beginning of December. For each traffic fatality during the month, a bulb is changed to red.

“Hopefully, we won’t have to put a red bulb on there this year,” said Roberta Powell, president of the Pilot Club of Suffolk. “It’s to remind people to drive safely during the holiday season.”

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The club has been doing the safety tree as a project for more than 25 years. Only a few years have seen the tree stay green all month long. One year, six green bulbs had to be replaced with red ones.

“It’s a season where we ask people to be very careful,” said Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett, who joined Powell and Vice Mayor Charles Brown in officially lighting the tree on Thursday. “A lot of people are drinking this year — please don’t drive. We don’t want any more accidents than we have to have, especially during the holiday season.”