By Donna Thornton/News Editor
By the time you read this, your chance to get a Hokes Bluff Lions Club Christmas tree may be slim or none.
The Lions Club ordered about 450 trees, as they have for the past few years, but they usually sell out around two weeks after setting up their sales lot on the north side of Meighan Boulevard behind the Etowah County Detention Center.
Jerry Heard said they get a lot of repeat customers for their trees. The Lions Club sells Fraser firs, always purchased from the same growers in North Carolina.
“That’s the Cadillac of Christmas trees,” Lion Bill Street said. Heard said people tend to be waiting on the big ones – the 12-footers that cost around $175 or $200.
“A lot of people put those in offices or homes with high ceilings,” Heard said.
The Lions have trees for small spaces and smaller budgets, as well.
The trees range from 6 feet to twice that size, and start at $40.
Heard said the East Gadsden Lions Club sold Christmas trees for years, and few years ago the members were about ready to give up their sale. Hokes Bluff’s Lions Club helped one year and bought out the fundraising effort the next and its members have been selling trees ever since.
Proceeds will go to help the visually impaired and to help needy families this Christmas. The Lions also assist with a program that gives students receiving free or reduced lunches in the Hokes Bluff schools food to take home for the weekend.
Last year, the Hokes Bluff Lions assisted 45 families during the holidays, with money for groceries. In addition to Christmas trees, the Lions have their mops and brooms for sale at the tree lot.
Heard said the Lions Club members drill a hole into the trunk of their Christmas trees so that they will fit onto tree stands, also for sale for $30. The lot will open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. until all the trees are gone.