Baseball team brings holiday cheer with fundraising

The Newbury Park High School baseball team Christmas tree lot has opened in the lot across for the Newbury Park library. The lot sells trees, as well as tree-related materials.

Jack Dexter, sophomore, has sold trees for the team for the last two years.

“The tree lot is a fundraiser for the Newbury Park baseball team where we sell Christmas trees, stands, preservatives and bags for the Christmas trees. We sell wreaths as well,” said Dexter.

The tree lot is staffed by a compilation of parent volunteers, coaches and student athletes.

“The athletes run the lot,” Tyler Kennedy, senior, said. “We stage the trees, water them, the freshman and sophomores water them. The juniors and seniors drive around trucks. We deliver the trees to the people that want them delivered, and then when we get the trees everybody unloads them.”

All of the proceeds from the trees go back to the team, making it the biggest baseball fundraiser of the year.

“It helps the baseball team build new equipment for our team,” said Dexter. “This year I think we are building another batting cage with the money we raise. It’s a great fundraiser for our team.”

While sales within the lot bring in money, Tyler’s favorite part of the lot is, “definitely delivering, because we get to go meet a lot of new people and then we get a lot of tips obviously, so we get quite a bit of money on tips.”

So far, the tree lot is bringing in ample funds for the baseball team.

“The tree lot is going amazing this year, we have sold so many trees in our first week that we had to pull in our second delivery, so we think we’ll be sold out in another week and a half,” Wendy Kennedy, a parent volunteer, said.

Despite the tree shortage this year, the lot is doing well. “There is a tree shortage, so people are coming in early to get their big trees,” said Wendy. “We got big trees and nobody else did, so its been really good.”

According to Wendy, the tree shortage was due to the recession and drought around 2007.

Farmers couldn’t afford to buy seeds to plant trees and then later on the water shortage (affected tree growth),” Wendy said.  

“Myself, Holly Lambert (President) and Tersa Lech (Treasurer) reached out to every tree farm we could find,” Wendy said. “They all turned us away telling us that their customers placed their order back in January knowing there would be a shortage. The tree lot almost didn’t happen. Then one tree farm called me and said if I could get them a deposit then they could supply us trees but we had to offset our Nobles (the most popular tree) with another species.”

According to Wendy, the tall nobles are the biggest sellers on account of the larger trees being more difficult to come by this year. To make up for the smaller number of Nobels, the lot has found a new species of tree to sell — the hybrid Nordman trees.

In addition to trees, there are some new items for sale in the lot this year.

“This year we’ve been selling wreaths…we had Santa here this year, we are going to have another Santa, and that was completely donated time, and the photographer donated her time, we sell popcorn.” said Wendy.

The lot opened the day after Thanksgiving, and according to Wendy, the lot will remain open until the last tree is sold.

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