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ELK CREEK – Troops at two military bases received a free Fraser fir Christmas tree last week thanks to the efforts of members of the Mount Rogers Christmas Tree Growers Association.
For the sixth year in a year, Mount Rogers growers donated trees to the Trees for Troops program, which provides trees to servicemen and their families at this special time of the year.
John Rosser of Comers Rock, association president, said there was two drop off points again this year.
Last Monday, growers donated 252 trees, which were loaded on the FedEx truck at the association’s warehouse in Whitetop. Those trees were delivered and distributed to troops and their families at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base last Thursday.
Last Wednesday, trees were picked up at Severt’s Tree Farm warehouse in Elk Creek from Mount Rogers members in eastern Grayson, Wythe, and Carroll counties. Those trees were distributed last Friday at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, N.C.
Sherrie Taylor, Virginia’s representative to the National Christmas Tree Assoc., said one grower from Laurel Springs in Alleghany County, N.C., Smokey Holler Tree Farm, drove about 60 miles to deliver their trees to the Elk Creek drop point.
The trailer from Alleghany County had a layer of snow under the trees. Taylor made a large snowball and placed it among the trees for the trip to Cherry Point.
The Trees for Troops program was launched in 2005, with the support of FedEx Corp., which provided free delivery to more than 50 military bases across the United States and several foreign countries.
Joining FedEx in sponsoring the project are the National Christmas Tree Association, The Christmas Spirit Foundation and other sponsors.
The project was expected to provide more than 100,000 trees this holiday season.