11/23/12 — Optimist trees provide more than just Christmas decoration

View Archive

Optimist trees provide more than just Christmas decoration

By John Joyce
Published in News on November 23, 2012 1:46 PM

Full Size


Goldsboro Optimist Club member, Bill Edgerton talks to Sherry Archibald, Paramount Theatre director, as she shops for Christmas trees one day recently. The Optimist Club has a large selection of trees and is open seven days a week on Cashwell Drive.

The Goldsboro Optimist Club is selling Christmas trees, as it does each holiday season, in an effort to raise money for the many youth projects it funds.

Bill Edgerton, Optimist Club immediate past president and longtime volunteer, says the club hopes to sell all of its 350 trees by the middle of December.

"We plan to sell all $22,000 worth of trees, with the proceeds going to the kids of course, and be sold out by mid-December so that our volunteers will still have some time with their own families," he said.

Trees at the lot on Cashwell Drive, across from Tractor Supply, in the 5- to 6-foot range are selling for $30, but the club also will have trees as large as 10 to 11 feet tall for as little as $125.

Tree stands, handmade wreaths and other accessories also are for sale.

The trees were purchased wholesale from Avery Farms, west of Asheville. The farm is a family-owned operation that has been passed down for three generations.

But the new supplier isn't the only change this year. Christmas tree hunters might also stumble upon some electronics at the lot, but fear not -- that doesn't mean the operation is going automated.

The Optimist Club also is accepting donations at the tree lot for their Computers for Kids program.

People can donate used computers to be wiped clean and refurbished so that they may be sold at rock-bottom prices to low-income families with children enrolled in middle or high school who don't already have a computer in the home.

"We sell them for about $40," Edgerton said.

But, he added, if that is still too much for the family to afford, the price can be lowered.

The club has had more than 100 computers donated so far, and though some of them were not salvageable, they were able to be used for parts.

Last month alone, 11 of the discounted computers were sold to families of students in need.

In addition to the tree and computer sales, the Optimist Club holds essay contests and bicycle rodeos.

They have a communications contest for hearing impaired children at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf in Wilson.

The club also donates time and money to the Boys and Girls Home in Lake Waccamaw, the Boys and Girls Club here in Wayne County, and last year they raised more than $1,000 for a local child stricken with cancer.

Christmas trees can be purchased and computers donated at the lot, which is open noon to 9 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to participate, not just at the tree lot, but at any of the Optimist Club's many fundraising functions.