Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 25, 2012

Sign of the season as Christmas trees arrive

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND —  Just as tiny snowflakes began to follow the wind to the ground Saturday morning, a team of volunteers worked diligently to unload and present truckloads of Christmas trees at the Ashland Tennis Center for the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters tree sale.

“We unloaded all of these trees. We started about 8 this morning,” said David Watts of Ashland as he and Tim Dixon, of Grayson, sliced through blue netting to reveal stands of pines and firs destined for homes throughout the area. Dixon and Watts were merely two of the volunteers from Wildwood First Church of God, making their first volunteer visit to the tree lot and enjoying the physical labor and the brisk morning air. “Now, we’re processing them and getting them ready to sell.”

Lee McCloud, Big Brothers Big Sisters case management supervisor, said hundreds of trees were unloaded and processed by volunteers including the Paul G. Blazer High School football team and students from the Ramey-Estep School, along with board members and individuals who wanted to lend a gloved hand.

“We have nearly 700 trees, and that’s just here,” McCloud said, noting two additional Big Brothers and Big Sisters tree lots in Huntington.

“Personally, I think we have better looking trees,” she said, observing trees available at commercial businesses tend to look exactly alike. “We have tall, small, skinny, fat ... we have everything!”

This year’s selections include Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine and White Pine Christmas trees, McCloud said, as well as Frazer Fir Christmas wreaths. The Ashland lot, which is fully staffed by local volunteers, will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“All of the money stays here to help the local Big Brothers Big Sisters,” McCloud said. “And, we always need more volunteers if anyone wants to learn more about what we do.”

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters programs or volunteer opportunities, call (606) 329-8789.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.