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Lion’s Christmas trees on sale

By Staff | Dec 6, 2017

Sanibel Captiva Lion’s Club members Rick Siders, Al Krause and Bob Kern stand among a great selection of Fraser Firs. MEGHAN MCCOY

It’s that time of year again when the beautiful Fraser Firs from the Carolina’s grace the parking lot of Bailey’s, thanks to the Sanibel Captiva Lion’s Club.

Cliff Nolan, a Lion’s Club member, said the club began selling Christmas trees in 1976. The club is celebrating its 50th year on the island this year.

The trees arrived the day after Thanksgiving and will remain for sale through Dec. 24. They are located at the Bailey Center near Island Cinema and can be purchased between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

High school students helped unload the trees that range in size from 6 feet to 12 feet.

In addition to the trees, wreaths and tree stands are also available for purchase.

Sanibel Captiva Lion’s Club members Rick Siders, Bob Kern and Al Krause stand beside a 12 foot Fraser Fir Christmas tree. MEGHAN MCCOY

With the purchase of a tree, comes delivery service if needed.

“People who don’t have the ability to bring home a Christmas tree and set it up, we can do that, or if they don’t have the time we can do it also,” Nolan said. “There’s always a lot of people that can use that kind of service.”

All of the sales benefit the club’s mission.

“We are a service club. Our mission is to help sight related situations such as people needing eye surgery and underprivileged who need eye glasses,” Nolan said.

In addition, the money raised from the sales and their Arts and Crafts show in March, helps the club contribute to such local charities as F.I.S.H. and Trailways Camp.

Member Kurt Peters said they offer monthly screenings at the Sanibel Recreation Center in January, February, March and April. They screening typically attracts anywhere from 25 to 35 people who benefit from the vision and hearing screenings.

In February, Peters said they have one retina screening on the island.

In addition, the Lion’s Club also visits three preschools on the island to screen vision, hearing, as well as BMI. The results of the screenings are printed out for the parents.

All of the screenings are free of charge.

“We screen. We are not here to treat,” Peters said, adding that if they find anything off they will refer the individual to the appropriate doctor. “We are not there to diagnose.”

On average nine to 10 Lion’s Club members attend the screenings, all certified.

In addition to the screening, the club provides a helping hand to those in need. Peters said they have a clinic that provides care in Bonita Springs for those who do not have insurance. The club also helps pay for emergency eye surgeries if an individual does not have the funds.

Those who are in need of hearing aids also have the opportunity to gain help from the Lion’s Club. Again if an individual’s funds are limited, Peters said the Lion’s Club will sponsor an individual by paying for the $75 application fee. If that individual is approved, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Hear Now Program, provides free hearing aids.

“We work with them and they do a great job,” Peters said.