TERRE HAUTE —
A yard full of evergreen trees makes for a holiday opportunity, but the numbers are dropping fast.
Members of Terre Haute’s Breakfast Optimist Club had hundreds of trees ready for sale this weekend, down on the south end of the Southland Center on Seventh Street near Margaret Avenue.
Jeff Fisher, chief of the Terre Haute Fire Department and club member, said the group had 425 Christmas trees for sale Friday afternoon, and was down to 385 by Sunday.
“We have three different kinds of trees,” he said near the club’s stand.
The local charity’s tradition of selling trees dates back more than 30 years with all profits going toward its youth programs, including the Optimist Oratorical Contest.
Scottish Pines, Douglas Firs and Fraser Firs fill the lot, several in excess of 10 feet tall. Prices range from $40 to $85, and Fisher said the group hopes to raise at least $8,000 from the sale.
James and Will Rogge joined their mother, Renee, in the family’s Dodge Dakota to pick out their own tree for the year Sunday.
Nine-year-old James said he prefers real Christmas trees to the artificial kind.
“It’s fun to get them and bring them home,” he said, adding the extra work involved is part of the fun.
Club member Ed Cook said the annual event is enjoyable for all involved.
“It gives me an opportunity to give back to the community,” he said, adding he enjoys the fellowship with other club members. The Breakfast Optimist Club meets each Thursday morning at 7:30 in the Hilton Garden Inn and focuses its efforts on local youth. “This is our major fundraiser of the year.”
The group’s tree stand will be open between 1 and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.