Buying a Christmas tree in town can do more than increase your holiday cheer. That pedestal for your ornament collection can also support local sports teams, or make eye surgery possible.
The St. Davids Lions Club is selling Christmas trees in their parking lot. All of the profits from the sale of these evergreens goes back into the community, mostly in the form of fighting blindness and its causes.
Martin Forster, the club’s past president, explains, “The Lions Clubs started around the time of Helen Keller. She asked that Lions members be ‘knights of the blind.’”
Forster says last year his group sold 500 trees and raised $18,000, “thanks to the tremendous support from our wonderful community. We have very good clients who come here every year specifically to support us,” he says. “We’re all volunteers — every penny goes back into the community.”
He says the St. Davids Lions have been donating their funds towards a microscope for eye surgeries at the Welland County hospital, and have also supported research regarding diabetes and measles; funded guide dogs; and provided school playground equipment and whiteboards.
The trees in St. Davids come from Decloete Farms in Tillsonburg. “We ordered an extra 150 trees this year because of the growth in the population of St. Davids,” says Forster. The sale started Nov. 25, and goes until there are no trees left to sell. The lot is at 1462 York Rd., and hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Lions Club sells Kriss Kringle-brand Christmas trees in Virgil, in the parking lot next to Niagara Fruit and Vegetable (1579 Four Mile Creek Rd.).
Catherine Wickabrod, zone chair of NOTL Club, says they’ve been buying their trees from Somerville Nurseries in Everett, Ontario “forever.”
Last year they sold 350 trees for a profit of $5000, which they used to support community sports teams, including minor league hockey, lacrosse, baseball and basketball. They also fund and coordinate youth dances at the former Virgil Public School, and purchased an autism guide dog for a local person. This year they ordered 400 trees — along with a dozen two-foot saplings, for smaller spaces.
They started their sale on Nov. 26, and at the time of this writing were down to five trees. They operate from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Prices range from $45 to $60 at both lots.
Mori Gardens and Sunshine Express Garden Centre also sell Christmas trees.
When you’ve enjoyed every last minute of your evergreen, collection of Christmas trees will take place in the week of Jan. 7 to 11, on your regular collection day. You can also take your tree to a drop-off depot or landfill site, free of change.