by Carolyn Bertsch
On a brisk, sunny Saturday morning, Jan. 4, Le Sauk Lions Club members drove up and down Sartell streets in four trucks with trailers to collect dry, brittle, expired Christmas trees to deliver to the city’s compost site.
The trees were gathered from driveways in several neighborhoods in exchange for a minimum $7 donation and a nonperishable food item.
“This year the club expects to exceed 130 trees,” said Mark Herron, who headed up the project for the 2020 collection.
The club has been doing the fundraiser for about a decade, each year choosing a new local cause for the funds. Most years the tree collection activity makes about $900, but this year’s event did exceptionally well. The club is excited that a donation of $1,770 is earmarked to benefit the family of Noah Fleishhacker, 14, of Sartell, who was diagnosed Dec. 12 with Burkitt lymphoma. Despite the cold air, the club members were in warm spirits as they drove up and down neighborhood streets seeking discarded Christmas trees. One third of the way into the pick-up route, club member Wayne Schreiner turned and smiled.
“Someone just gave us $100,” he said. “People are generous.”