Troop 626, a Bellevue-based faction of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization, started its annual Christmas tree sale fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 29. But those on the Eastside still have time to support the group before the year’s end.
Held at the Newport Hill Swim and Tennis Club, the sale continues until Dec. 20. It’s open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekends.
“While it’s an important event for us… I like to think as well that it’s a testament to the boys being part of their community,” said Caroline Keene, a parent volunteer and tree sale committee member.
The tree sale, which has been going on for 37 years (Troop 626 itself was founded in 1974), is the main fundraising avenue for the group. According to Keene, the funds accrued typically cover primary member needs, from tenting equipment to summer camp fees.
“It’s such a big event for us,” Keene said.
The Newport Hill Swim and Tennis Club has long been the location at which the sale takes place. The troop usually cleans up the property the weekend before as a sort of trade-off — a tradition that was maintained this year.
Keene estimated that on the Sunday cleanup day, as many as 55 boys helped — a majority of the roughly 65-member group.
“Every boy is invested,” Keene said.
For this year’s fundraiser, 626 is partnering with Girl Scout Troop 46459, who will be taking any leftover wood from the sale to make decorations to be sold later on.
Keene said the fundraiser makes for one of the few outings where all troop members are together. (Meetings typically see about 20 boys in attendance.) The unity is part of what Keene thinks makes the sale special.
“The tree sale is the one time of year when we get everyone working together,” Keene said. “I think that’s really nice to see that, and the pride they take.”
For more information about the sale, go to Troop 626’s Facebook page (https://bit.ly/2P6vjJ1).