NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The odor of pine permeates the air outside of Whitin Community Center at the corner of Hill and Main streets. The large grassy area surrounded by parking spaces is crowded with Balsam fir trees of all shapes and sizes.
Every year just after Thanksgiving, Boy Scouts from Troop 155 accept the delivery of hundreds of trees and begin their largest fundraiser of the year selling Christmas trees and wreaths.
The plan is to sell the trees until Sunday, troop Committee member Charles Thompson said recently. However, the sale may be extended if there are trees remaining.
Trees are priced from $12 to $65 based on height and fullness. Wreaths are $8, $9 with a bow.
The trees come from Ralph DeLong, a farmer in Nova Scotia, Thompson said.
The troop has been selling Christmas trees every year since 1984.It started small, just 75 trees sold the first year. That number now tops 800.
Thompson credits the sale’s success on a number of things, including the dedication of troop members who share a rigorous duty schedule and the guarantee that comes with each tree. Anyone unhappy with a tree may bring it back, he said.
Money raised goes toward the cost of summer camp at Treasure Valley in Rutland.
Trees are sold Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.