Annual Christmas tree sale carrying on mission to support youth

Local News

CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — While many holiday traditions are different because of the pandemic, the meaning behind the Camillus Optimist’s annual Christmas tree sale remains the same.

For more than 25 years, the Camillus Optimists have set up the hundreds of Christmas trees outside of the town’s municipal building.

For neighbors like Mary Triano, it’s an important tradition to buy her tree from the Optimists.

I kept driving by thinking I was going to miss because I heard the fresh tree is the rage this year. With COVID keeping us so far away from each other, you have to try to stay true to those things that mean the most to you and keep you connected. Getting out here because I am healthy and I can get a tree, means a lot to have it in the household.

Mary Triano, Camillus resident

Similar to Triano, the Camillus Optimists have that same attitude, especially being able to continue the sale safely during the pandemic.

“We’re fortunate to be able to continue to carry on with our tradition to provide trees to the community and keep some normalcy in a not-so normal world,” Gil Schnorr, the group’s president explained.

The Christmas tree sale is the one fundraiser of the year for the Camillus Optimists. For each tree that’s sold, all of the proceeds go directly towards the town’s youth programs and activities.

Teens like, 14-year-old, Henry Steitz, are on the receiving end of the community’s generosity, and he wanted to buy his tree from the Optimists too.

“We came here to support them because they support us in return,” Steitz said.

We know how much they give back to the young kids in the area and the sports that they offer, and they do a beautiful job of supporting students here.

Mary Triano, Camillus resident

The tree sale is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. right in front of the Camillus municipal building. The sale will run until all trees are sold.

To learn more about the Camillus Optimists, click here.

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