As its primary fundraiser of the year, Troop 31 Crompton has once again opened its annual Christmas tree stand at 1522 Main St., West Warwick, next to Roch's Market.
The stand is operated by the Troop's approximately 30 scouts from Coventry and West Warwick, ranging in age from 10 to 18 who sell several types of trees, including Fraser Fir and Balsam. The trees are farm-grown in nearby Voluntown, CT, and depending on the type sell for $27 or $37. Wreaths from Hattoy's Nursery are also sold at the stand from $12-18 each. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 4-8 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends until as late as Dec. 23 if there are still trees left to sell.
Troop Advancement Chair and Pool & Patio Center Market Coordinator, Kevin Burns, who has scouted since 1995 and worked with the Troop since 2003, along with three Pool & Patio Center co-workers (also Eagle Scouts), have also coordinated a tree stand in the P&PC parking lot that will be open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Dec. 16. The business is also an official Toys for Tots toy drop-off location during normal business hours until Dec. 21.
Burns explained that the trees sold by Troop 31 are locally grown, of good quality and noticeably less expensive than other nearby stands. After the initial purchase costs of both the trees and wreathes, proceeds from sales go toward an hourly wage for each scout who works at the stands, and is put into their personal account. The funds may then be used for Troop trips, Eagle Scout courts or camping equipment until the scout is 20 years old.
"We do have a couple smaller fundraisers throughout the year, but the tree stand is our primary event," said Burns. "Troop 31 has been doing this for at least 25 years."