Amid pandemic, Lions Club Christmas tree fundraiser still on to help local charities

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Lions Club of Savannah hopes to bring in some holiday cheer with their annual Christmas tree fundraiser in Daffin Park.

President Sherri Forbes of the Lions Club says she and other members were worried the organization’s largest fundraiser wouldn’t go on this year because of the pandemic.

“Our lot is built on relationships, and we have generations of families that come back every year for their Christmas tradition to come get their tree,” said Forbes. “So we were really worried this year that we weren’t going to be able to have it.”

Typically, the fundraiser brings in close to $25,000 for the Lions Club’s various community partners, including the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision and the Salvation Army of Savannah.

Linda James, the Salvation Army Center for Hope Director, says her decades-long partnership with the Lions Club allows for both organizations to provide as much need to the community as possible.

“Anything that anyone can do to help the Lions Club or the Salvation Army, whether it’s through monetary resources or volunteer time, those are the things that we’re always looking for,” said James.

Organizers said they had greater difficulties this year getting trees.

Steven Thompson, a director with the Lions Club, says there have been shortages with their supplier in North Carolina, and the prices for trees have gone up.

In order to maintain the tradition and help local families, Thompson said they’ve done everything they can to lower prices and get as many trees as possible.

“We wanted to do it this year because we know people want to really enjoy family time at Christmas and we felt really strong that we needed to do everything possible to have a tree lot this year,” he said. “So we’re just grateful the city allowed us to do it.”

Sales of the trees start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, and continue every day, except Thanksgiving, until all trees have been sold. The Lions Club has set up hand sanitizing stations and promotes mask-wearing.

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