Around Town

Boy Scouts plan unique holiday fundraiser

WESTFIELD-While city residents are still buying and decorating non-artificial trees for the holiday season, a unique fundraiser by Boy Scout Troop 821 will collect those trees curbside on Jan. 5 – for a donation.

“This is our first year collecting trees,” said Cathy Thibodeau, an assistant scoutmaster and a member of the troop’s fundraising subcommittee. “Collecting trees is a very popular idea among many scout groups.”

Following the holidays, Boy Scout Troop 821 members will conduct a unique fundraiser – removing Christmas trees for a donation. (Submitted photo)

Westfield residents are asked to visit and sign up for the Christmas tree collection. Persons seeking to have their tree discarded are asked to leave the undecorated tree curbside on Jan. 5 by 8 a.m.  A snow date for the collection has been set for Jan. 6. 

A minimum “suggested” donation is $10 and the scouts request that the donation be placed in an envelope attached to the tree.

“We hope to raise funds to offset costs of our equipment, activities, and scholarships, but at the same time we are recycling/repurposing the trees,” said Thibodeau.

Thibodeau noted that the naturally cut trees will be sent to local goat farms for the goats to eat to help keep them healthy.

On the scouts website, they stress that some trees bought at retail locations have been sprayed with a fire retardant and cannot be used as feed and would be disposed of separately.

“We had heard that the city was no longer collecting them, so this felt like a good way to provide a service to our neighbors,” said Thibodeau.

David Billips, director of the Department of Public Works, noted on Friday that the city did not collect trees last year but did provide an area to drop them off. In the “near future,” added Billips, details will be available on the city’s website.

Among the scouts participating in the fundraiser will be Enders Houck, 17, and Camden D’Andrea, 16.

“I’m the senior patrol leader and this position is important to me because it allows me and other leaders to show our ideas to make the troop better,” said Houck. “My favorite things about the troop would be how active we serve in our community with tree recycling for example, and the other would be the scoutmasters of the troop that bring it all together to keep this troop going.”

D’Andrea echoed those sentiments.

“My role as assistant senior patrol leader is important because it allows me to make the changes in the troop to make it better,” said D’Andrea. “My favorite thing about the troop is the help and support it gives my fellow scouts and members of our community. It helps scouts by giving them resources to complete merit badges and rank advancement and to learn life lessons. I feel we have helped the community grow and thrive by doing service projects for schools and churches that may not have gotten done before.”

Thibodeau added she relishes the role she has with the troop members.

“I enjoy working with the scouts and seeing them have a vision and act on it,” said Thibodeau. “The scouts are building character and learning such important life skills and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”

For questions on the tree collection, send an email to [email protected].

“Our troop is very service oriented,” said Thibodeau, adding, “everything from helping the American Legion with placing cemetery flags to helping with the Stanley Park Wheel Walk, and more. We’ve got a great group of guys who know how to have a good time.” 

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