LAURINBURG —It has got to be the holiday season, if the Optimist Club of Laurinburg have resumed its Christmas Tree Sale.
Begun in 1963, the tree lot sale benefits athletic and academic programs for Scotland County youth, said Jerry Riggins, president of the club.
The tree lot is located right beside Clinton Inn and across from Taco Bell with easy parking and 100’s of trees to choose from.
“Since the 1960s, we’ve had about four different locations, but this is the longest running one we’ve had, Riggins said.
The Christmas tree sale is the club’s largest annual fundraiser, typically netting around $15,000 for the benefit of all Optimist’s youth programs. In the last year, the club involved more than 500 children aged 6-12.
“Those who buy their holiday tree from the Optimist tree lot keep that money in Scotland County to benefit sports programs and academic scholarships,” Riggins said.
The Optimists are selling fresh-cut Frazier Fir — considered the Cadillac of Christmas trees — in different sizes, some small and some 12 feet tall with the prices from $44 all the way to $110. Cash, check, or credit cards are accepted.
The trees were harvested from a farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the same supplier the club has used for the past decade. North Carolina ranks second in the nation behind Oregon in Christmas tree production, with trees grown mostly in the state’s mountains providing about 4 million trees worth about $1 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Also available for sale are post-type tree stands, which are much simpler and quicker to use than the traditional screw-type tree stands. The tree stands, like the trees, are priced according to size.
Optimists will also offer decorative wreaths, made from freshly-cut greenery by members of Central United Methodist Church.
The sale began on Nov. 18 with club members and students from St. Andrews University and members of the Scotland High School football team helping set up the tree lot.
“This is just something that people look forward to…. in fact, I sold five trees before we even got set up,” Riggins said. “The sale gets people in the Christmas spirit.”
The Optimist Club of Laurinburg Christmas tree lot is open from 2-8 p.m. daily, opening at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and on Black Friday.
The sale will go until the club sells out of trees, which is typically right before Christmas, according to club members
“It’s pretty much a tradition as a community-supported thing,” said Riggins. “A lot of people continue to come back year after year.”
Reach Scott witten at 910-506-3023