The distinct smell of fresh pine in East Trail is a sure sign that the Kiwanis Christmas trees are in town and ready for sale.
The annual fundraiser, or “Green Friday” as Kiwanian Wayne Hodgson calls it, kicks off today with an assortment of fir and evergreens that offer a verdant choice of tree-species and price ranges.
Christmas tree sales have been the club’s major fundraiser for many years, so the long-time volunteers know a thing or two about how to choose the perfect tannenbaum.
“We have the best trees you can get, and we try to get the best tree available for the best money,” says Kiwanian Brian Pipes.
“For example, we have Fraser fir and Cook fir, which are known for having the best needle retention. And all the Kiwanis’ trees are Canadian grown, not imported.”
That reminded Pipes that Saturday is a fitting day to drop by Butler Park to choose the perfect tree, because Dec. 1 is National Christmas Tree Day in Canada.
The occasion encourages communities to “Buy Local, Buy Real,” and acknowledges that Canadian Christmas trees provide jobs from growers to farm hands, as well as in related industries such as transportation and equipment supply.
Another thing about this year’s campaign is that a tree – in partnership with annual tree-unloaders, the Trail Smoke Eaters – will be donated to 15 local families identified as in-need.
“They can come by with their vouchers and pick up one at no-cost,” said Pipes. “And this is our major fundraiser, we wouldn’t be able to support the community without Christmas tree sales,” he added.
“I would go as far as to say, that there is not a person or family in this town that has not benefited some way through the donations from Christmas tree sales, whether it is family, friends, or someone they know.”
Money raised helps support over 30 charities and non-profit organizations in Greater Trail, and is dispersed in bursaries to many of the area’s graduating students.
Kiwanis members will be at the East Trail park, selling trees Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.