Tree lots support Suffolk

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014

For those seeking authenticity while supporting worthy causes, three lots around the city are selling real Christmas trees with proceeds benefiting the community.

Tree: On Monday evening, Knights of Columbus member Paul Fletcher holds up a tree purchased by Melissa Wilson, who brought along her daughters Blaire and Jocelyn.

Tree: On Monday evening, Knights of Columbus member Paul Fletcher holds up a tree purchased by Melissa Wilson, who brought along her daughters Blaire and Jocelyn.

The Knights of Columbus Suffolk Council 7363 lot kicked off Sunday in the parking lot of Sherwin-Williams and Line-X of Suffolk, 2432 Pruden Blvd.

Mike Bibbo, the tree lot chairman, listed a variety of organizations and causes it supports, including Special Olympics, The Global Wheelchair Mission and the Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Email newsletter signup

Also benefiting from the Knights’ efforts is the Suffolk News-Herald’s Cheer Fund, which in turn supports the U.S. Marine Corps’ annual Toys for Tots program.

“We are helping the citizens primarily in Suffolk,” Bibbo said. “We try to keep our money local.”

Lot hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The 450 fresh-cut Fraser firs — which students from Nansemond River High School’s ROTC program helped unload and Saturday — range in size from 6 to 14 feet, and cost from $30 up to $107, Bibbo said.

Bibbo said 2014 is his 20th year with the lot, which up until seven years ago was run by the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

“Once the Jaycees were no longer, the Knights decided to keep the tradition going,” he said.

Besides Sherwin-Williams, Line-X of Suffolk and the ROTC students, Bibbo also thanked Stateline Builders, which donated the lot shed; Saunders Supply Company, for the lumber to build tree racks; and The Blair Bros., supplier of the lights.

“Without those folks, this wouldn’t be possible,” Bibbo said.

The Elks Lodge No. 685’s Christmas tree lot at 329 West Constance Road is open daily from 3 to 8 p.m.

“If anyone leaves a note (outside those hours), we’ll get back in touch,” said Jimmy Franks, home committee chairman.

Delivered directly from the field to the lot, the firs are priced at $45 for those 6 to 7 feet tall and $50 for those 7 to 8 feet tall.

Selling real Christmas trees has been an Elks tradition in Suffolk for “as long as I can remember — over 20 years,” Franks said.

“A lot of people are repeat customers. They get word of what we do and come here and support us.”

The lot supports many organizations and causes, Franks said, including the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and summer camps.

Franks’ advice is to get in early. “The sooner you get here the better one you get,” he said.

Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church’s Christmas tree lot at 3488 Godwin Blvd. is new this year. It opens Friday.

On Tuesday, church member Barry Cole was near Hillsville — elevation 2,600 feet — organizing for the delivery of firs cut that had been Monday evening. “It’s just as fresh as yesterday’s sunset,” Cole waxed lyrically.

The trees are from 5 to 10 feet high, and priced between $50 and $100.

“All the money goes to the deacons’ fund for folks less-fortunate for Christmas, and to the Western Tidewater Free Clinic for free health care for people who need it,” Cole said.