11/25/10 — Optimist Club's Farfour has been selling Christmas trees for 53 years

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Optimist Club's Farfour has been selling Christmas trees for 53 years

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 25, 2010 12:07 AM

It's not about the money.

In fact, Ed Farfour has never accepted a paycheck for his services -- not in 53 years.

For the last remaining charter member of the Optimist Club, selling Christmas trees is its own reward.

"I just love the kids -- the smile on a kid's face," he said. "That's why I'm here year after year."

Farfour and other members of the local chapter of the Optimist Club have started their annual fundraiser on a simple lot just off Spence Avenue.

And if you choose to pick out your tree on a Sunday, it's likely that Farfour will be the one escorting you through the organization's selection.

It started in 1957.

"At the time, we were the only ones doing it," Farfour said. "We wanted to make money for the youths."

And in the more than five decades since the idea came to fruition, countless thousands of dollars have been donated to children's causes throughout Wayne County.

Farfour has been a witness to it for all these years -- from the day the first trees begin arriving at the Optimist Club's site.

"The first Sunday after they are here, I'm down here," Farfour said. "I say, 'Well honey, I can't watch the football game today.'"

The man does, after all, have something much more fulfilling on his plate -- watching a new generation of children pick out trees he says bring them so much joy.

"You also see the adults and a lot of them say, 'We came here when we were kids.' That's what they tell us," Farfour said. "People have been real loyal to the Optimist Club."

Just as Farfour has been loyal to them.

"Around the holidays, this is where you'll find me on Sundays," he said. "For the kids. For the kids smiling."

Those who wish to buy a tree from the club -- all proceeds are donated to local organizations that help children in the community -- can show up at the lot Monday through Friday from noon to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m.