Where to get one, how to care for one

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM.

PANAMA CITY — Depending on the version of “O Christmas Tree” you prefer, there’s a lesson in the green: that hope and love will be the way to joy and peace.

For the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County, that same lesson and the way to joy and peace for its young members is supported in large part by the sale of Christmas Trees. Their hope rests on the public’s love of the live tannenbaum.

The Christmas trees started arriving Nov. 19 at the Club’s lots — one near the intersection of 23rd Street and Beck Avenue (State 390) in Panama City, and another at the intersection of State 79 and U.S. 98 in Panama City Beach. The lots officially opened on Black Friday and will remain open until all the trees are sold.

Trees sell for between $20 and $300, depending on size; 100 percent of the sales proceeds go to benefit the programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bay County, which is hurting because of the economy.

“We count on it selling out every year, especially in tough times like this,” said Paul Mosca, the club’s chief professional officer. “It’s probably never been needed more than it is this year. With the economy down the past four or five years, our reserve funds are depleted, and we’re living like the families we serve — predominantly middle income and lower income. We’re existing exactly the way they do, week-to-week right now.”

The annual sale started 23 years ago, the year before the Mosca, joined the team.

“We get all of our trees from Merlyn Farms in North Carolina. We buy direct from the grower,” Mosca said. “That guy’s been wonderful to us and offers great trees. We carry only the hardiest trees available for this area, a Fraser fir, which do the best in this area because of the heat.”

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