It has proved another holiday season of success for the Optimist Club of Arlington’s Christmas-tree sales.
“We still have a few stragglers, but almost 2,000 have been sold,” said club member Brian Kellenberger, speaking at the Optimist Club’s 72nd annual Christmas breakfast, held Dec. 13 at Washington Golf & Country Club.
Three tractor-trailer trucks filled with trees arrived Nov. 22 at the Knights of Columbus on Little Falls Road, and were unloaded by student-athletes from Yorktown and Washington-Liberty high schools. Another truck came some days later to augment the selection.
Trees were cut in Galax, Va., and Jefferson County, N.C. White pines and Fraser firs, from table-top size to 9-footers, were part of the sale.
Optimists have been selling Christmas trees (along with wreaths, garlands and accoutrements) since 1946, with the resulting millions of dollars in funds used to support youth activities, including sports.
Until two years ago, the club’s annual sale was conducted in the parking lot at the corner of North Glebe Road and Langston Boulevard. A succession of banking firms on the parcel allowed it to take place, but the club’s luck ran out in 2022 when it was booted out.
Fortunately, the Optimists last year connected with the Knights of Columbus on Little Falls Road, which offered to provide space in its expansive parking lot. The effort continued in 2023.
“The Knights of Columbus saved us – we are very grateful,” Optimist Club member Sandy Bushue said at the Christmas breakfast. On hand were a host of officials from the Knights of Columbus including the grand knight, president and general manager.
“We wouldn’t be able to have our tree sale without their support,” Kellenberger said.