Everyone’s favourite Christmas tree store is open for the season! On November 28, Lion Kathy worked the first shift at the Ferguson Forest tree lot, selling real Christmas trees with proceeds going to various worthy causes. The so-called Kemptville Lions Club Christmas Tree Sale is very popular amongst North Grenville residents.
Lion Robert Sentner explained the history of the Tree Sale: “We started our Christmas Tree Sale project well over 10 years ago and only sold trees over the weekend the first few years,” he said. “Around 2013, we added tree sales through the week and continue to do so. Initially, we sourced trees directly from Ferguson Forest, however, after using up all they could offer, we are now bringing in trees from a nursery in Peterborough.”
Lion Robert explained that the Tree Sale has over 200 trees on offer – most are in the 6 foot range with a number in excess of 8 feet. “Each of the last four years, we have sold out, having all 200+ trees purchased,” he added.
This year’s trees were delivered on November 23, allowing them to go on sale last week. For the second year in a row, the price charged by the Nursery for the trees has increased. Last year, the Lions Club did not increase the prices in the local Tree Sale, but they cannot sustain such a courtesy again this year, and the price has necessarily increased. This year’s price is $75 per tree.
“Lions Club tree ornaments are also on offer this year,” said Lion Robert. “The Christmas Tree Sales seem to add some new offerings each year. We also have Ferguson Forest tree boughs and logs to help make wreaths or Christmas decorations. Since the outset of this project, the Lions Club of Kemptville has worked hard to bring reasonably priced Christmas trees to the folks here in Kemptville. The fact that we now have some folks coming out from the City of Ottawa to secure trees says a lot.”
What perhaps makes the Christmas Tree Sale most special is the fact that it is a fundraiser for some of the most important local, regional, and international causes. Examples include local food banks, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Community Services Council, Senior’s Community Services, Kemptville Home Support, Community Living, Kemptville District Hospital and local High School student bursaries.
On a broader scope, fundraising also supports the Kemptville Lions Club International Vision Care Project that travels to communities in developing nations to perform free eye exams and dispense glasses free of charge. “For that project, we are currently fundraising to replace vital pieces of test equipment used during the project,” said Lion Robert. “COVID kept us from engaging in this project for 2021 and 2022, but we returned to South America in early 2023 where a week-long project saw over 1,000 patients receiving free eye exams and over 650 patients receiving new glasses, also free of charge.”
Running such a busy and popular fundraiser is not without its perks. “Seeing familiar faces year after year returning to get their Christmas trees as well as helping the kids find just the right tree makes it fun,” explained Lion Robert. “We are getting to know so many of the folks who drop by the lot. The Christmas spirit is overflowing here. While some of the time it is quiet at the lot, as the big day gets closer, more and more people can be found roaming through the lot looking for that special tree that will fit just right. We sure do love bringing this to the community!”
The Kemptville Lions Club Christmas Tree Sale is located at the Ferguson Forest Centre Main Entrance, inside the chain link lot where all the greenhouses are located – 275 Highway 44 in Kemptville. The hours of operation are from 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.