Truck delivers 500+ Christmas trees

Key West Police Officer Joe Tripp totes two Christmas trees, as Officer Alex Rodriguez and Sunrise Rotarian Jim Scholl continue doling them out to a line of volunteers. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly
Key West Police Officer Joe Tripp totes two Christmas trees, as Officer Alex Rodriguez and Sunrise Rotarian Jim Scholl continue doling them out to a line of volunteers. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

The line of volunteers stretched for more than a block down Seminary Street on the morning of Nov. 26, when a refrigerated truck from North Carolina delivered about 550 Douglas firs for this year’s annual Christmas tree sale.

The MARC House (Monroe Association for Remarkable Citizens) has been selling Christmas trees as its major annual fundraiser for 35 years, said executive director Diana Flenard.

The truck arrived at 8 a.m., and volunteers from Sunrise Rotary, Key West Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard had it emptied within 40 minutes.

“Same time next week for the second delivery?” Flenard called out hopefully as the happy elves toted the aromatic trees and stacked them wherever they were told.

The organization that provides training and jobs to adults with developmental disabilities will hold its tree sale from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until all the trees are sold.

“We’ll get another delivery at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 and then one last one on Monday, Dec. 9, so the tabletop-sized trees for our auction are as fresh as possible,” said Gordon Ross, longtime development director for MARC, who will retire in February. “Each delivery has about 500 to 575 trees, and they’re all from a sustainable Christmas tree farm in North Carolina.”

In addition to the trees, the MARC Plant Store is also overflowing with red and yellow poinsettia, decorated and plain wreaths, mistletoe air plants, tropical Christmas palms and a gift shop filled with ornaments and holiday decorations.

The MARC Plant Store and Christmas Tree Lot are located at 1401 Seminary St. Call 305-852-3282 or go to MarcHouse.org for information.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.