The Belmont Lions Club is down to the last Christmas trees and wreaths of its annual sale: less than 600 trees and 30 wreaths remain, and Lions Club President Tom Ferraro said that they’ll only last through the weekend.
Every year, the Lions sell 2,200 trees and 1,300 wreaths and donate the money they raise to the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, which funds research to cure blindness, and to local charities and sports teams. It’s a tradition that started in 1957.
“It’s a blast,” said Ferraro. “You’re selling Christmas, it’s not just a tree. People come from all over – from New York, from Vermont, from the Cape – they return like it’s a pilgrimage to buy their Christmas tree.”
The trees arrive at eight in the morning the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and boys from local hockey, football, and soccer teams help unload them. Girls from local soccer and softball teams help decorate wreaths.
On weekdays, as many as 100 people show up to buy trees, said Ferraro. On weekends, hundreds wander through the trees set up in front of the Lions Club at 1 Common St. The Lions sell trees from 9 am to 9 pm every day until they run out.
Trees and wreaths are priced from $10-$50.
The Lions don’t keep a running tally of what they collect, said Ferraro, because they measure their success in serving Belmont.
“The best part,” he said, “is when you’re out there selling Christmas trees you get to interact with everybody in the community.”