, Derry, New Hampshire

November 22, 2012

Holiday tree sales benefit charity organizations

By Julie Huss

---- — Even Charlie Brown can find the perfect tree this year.

It’s time for holiday tree sales to begin. Organizations are putting finishing touches on plans to host sales in Derry and Londonderry, with proceeds going to help those in need.

St. Mark’s Council 104888 of the Knights of Columbus begins its annual tree sale Nov. 24 at Chuck’s BP Station, Route 102, in Londonderry.

This is the 23rd year for the tree sale.

More than 400 native balsam firs, ranging in average height from 6 to 8 feet, will arrive in Londonderry Nov. 24 from a farm in northern New Hampshire. The official sale begins Saturday at 9 a.m.

There also will be some taller trees and even some that would have suited Charlie Brown well.

“They are all natural balsam firs,” Knights member Mike Dromgoole said.

He said anyone buying a tree can be assured the purchase price will go directly to help those in need.

“It’s our largest fundraiser,” Dromgoole said. “It allows us to do a lot of things.”

Those things include supporting special needs children at Moose Hill School when budget constraints might be an issue, or donating money to local food pantries.

This year, the Knights also will collect new winter jackets to give to students in the area.

It’s a collective effort, Dromgoole said, with many hands pitching in to make the sale a success.

The Knights will sell their trees on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. until all trees are gone.

Most trees will be sold by mid-December.

Proceeds will support the missions and charities of the Knights of Columbus and St. Mark’s Parish.

Lions Club members in Londonderry have sold trees on Mammoth Road for almost 20 years, bringing in upward of 600 trees to sell.

Proceeds support the club’s scholarships and other community projects.

The Derry Lions Club hosts its annual sale in the parking lot at the Citizens Bank plaza.

Trees are priced to sell, usually at about $35 each. The sale is the club’s biggest fundraiser, bringing in anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 for the Lions.

Derry’s St. Mark’s Lodge Masonic Lodge 44 Free and Accepted Masons expect their tree delivery on Nov. 24.

The 400 fresh cut trees will arrive at 7 a.m. from a farm in Vermont.

“Twenty-five guys will be unloading the truck,” St. Mark’s member Al Lamson said. “We’ll be selling (that day) by 9 a.m.”

After that, trees will be sold daily until they are all gone.

Lamson said the Derry Masons traditionally sell all their trees, with money going to support community organizations including the Derry News Santa Fund, Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, First Baptist Church food pantry and Sonshine Soup Kitchen.

For anyone seeking a really tall holiday focal point, Lamson said there will be several 12-foot trees available this year.