Dec 03, 2012 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
Sam Stone has spruced up a nostalgic seasonal site in Baldwinsville.
The 15-year-old sophomore at Baker High School recently renovated the Baldwinsville Optimist’s Christmas Tree Sale trailer for his Eagle Scout project. Just in time, too, as the tree sale began Saturday, Dec. 1, next to the Rite Aid on Downer Street.
Stone said the idea of helping the Optimists Club occurred to him while volunteering for the tree sale last season. He approached Optimist Gene Hearl, who suggested fixing up the trailer. Stone did his homework, determined what was needed to accomplish his goals then presented the project to the Optimists.
“They were very pleased about what I was about to do and they gladly signed the project proposal,” Stone said, adding he chose the Optimists because of the many youth activities they help fund each year including Cub Scout Pack 289 of which Stone was a member. “I felt that I was giving back to them for helping me, and at the same time, I was also helping fund pack 289 by aiding in their sponsoring organization’s funding.”
Rather than complicate the project, Stone chose to solicit donations from area businesses and received assistance from a professional so that the trailer was properly repaired. With the help of 20 volunteers donating 142 hours of their time, the project was completed this fall.
“I hope that the new trailer will attract new customers to their tree sale with its Christmas theme and the clear signage on the back of the trailer,” Stone said.
“Sam’s project means so much to our Optimist Club because the Christmas tree sale has been our main fundraiser for many, many years,” said Donald Varn, long-time Baldwinsville Optimist member and past president. “The shed would not have lasted much longer without Sam and his efforts. We are very appreciative.”
While Stone has not yet received his Eagle award, he is eagerly anticipating the distinction.
“I think that being an Eagle Scout is the highest honor that can be given to a youth,” he said. “It is about being a leader and giving back to your community.”
The Optimists Christmas Tree Sale is held from 3 to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tree Lot Chairpersons Paul Hunt and Jim Johnson said the trees are New York State grown and suggest customers shop early for the perfect tree because they “look awfully good this year.”
Boy Scout Troop 119 and Cub Scout Troop 289 will help the Optimists set up the lot the first weekend of the sale and Boy Scout Troop 80 will help Optimists carry trees for buyers the second weekend of the sale.
“The Baldwinsville community has supported our fund raising efforts in the past,” said Optimist president Joyce Ramseyer, “and we are confident they will this year also.”
The Baldwinsville Optimist Club is a youth and community oriented service club that sponsors and supports various activities in the Baldwinsville area including Halloween window painting day, foul shooting contest, senior ice cream socials, scholarships, boy and girl scouts, little league and more. For more information, visit baldwinsvilleoptimistclub.org (note the link to the Optimist Facebook page where customers are invited to post pictures of their decorated trees).