Photo: The Folan’s have their perfect tree.
While growing up as a child in the UK, Somerset Street’s Edward Young would join his family as they would go out and “dig out or cut our Christmas tree.”
But on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, with his family in tow, Young came to Royal Road adjacent to the commuter rail station to select a tree from a few hundred.
“This is much easier,” he said of his yearly trek to the Belmont Lions Club Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale.
And he has a particular type.
“I look for the right height for the house and that it’s nice and bushy,” said Young.
The Youngs joined a steady stream of residents and people from surrounding towns to the annual migration of folks who for the past half century have ventured down to the Lions Club in Belmont Center looking for that “right” Christmas tree (all from one farm in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia); the one that fills the living room, frames the front window or stands on the upstairs landing.
From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (they may close up a little early on bad weather nights), the Belmont Lions – one of 46,000 local clubs worldwide with more than 1.35 million members in 200 countries – will be there to help you find “your” tree.
Dan MacAuley, a Lions past president, said he and his 60 fellow members (supplemented by volunteers from the Belmont High School sports teams) will spend the last Saturday in November until Christmas Eve selling approximately 2,700 trees – all balsam firs – and more than 2,000 wreaths, mantle pieces, and cemetery baskets.
Price is determined by the “official” measuring stick located next where the trees are prepared for traveling; a 7-footer will put you back $43.
But don’t wait until the last minute to get “your” tree.
“They’ve sold out every year I’ve been here, and I have doing this for 14 years,” said MacAuley.
The sale’s proceeds go to help the Lions Internationals’ SightFirst programs focusing on its Childhood Blindness Project and other sight-related charities as well as funding a pair of scholarships at Belmont High School.
“A lot of it stays here in town,” said MacAuley.
This year, change and donations placed in the “tip” jar will go to Belmont S.P.O.R.T. (Special Programs Organized for Recreation Time) which provides activities for individuals of all ages with special needs.
Peter Folan from Monroe Street came with the wife and kids and found “the perfect tree for the occasion,” said Folan.
Why is it the right tree?
“It’s the perfect height, and it’s plump and it resembles his dad,” said Folan, pointing to his son.