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| 2 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com |

The holiday season is full of traditions for many in Dexter, and one of them is taking a trip to the longtime-running Lions Club Christmas tree sale.

The Dexter Lions celebrated 40 years this past April, but it was 38 years ago when the Christmas tree sales began as a fundraiser. Lions Christmas Tree Chairman Bob Steptoe said they started with 200-300 trees at Goulds gas station on Baker Road. 

Over the years it’s turned into an annual outing for a lot of people. For the past 28 years, the Lions tree lot has been at Creekside Intermediate School.

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Steptoe said the tree sale is the Lions largest fundraiser.

He said they support leader dogs for the blind, Penrickton Center, a school for Blind Children, provide eyeglasses and exams for children in the Dexter School District, scholarships for seniors at DHS, support Girl and Boy scouts, support Gordon Hall, sponsor Apple days, Faith in Action, Dexter District Library, robotics club in Dexter, sponsor stuff the seniors at the senior center and many others.

As seen here on their mobile headquarters, the Lions Club is pretty transparent about their goals in selling Christmas trees.

This year the club has 1,160 trees with seven varieties represented: Scotch pine, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Concolor, White Pine, Blue Spruce and Balsam Fir. They also sell wreathes and garland.

Steptoe said all of the trees come from Rainbow’s End Trees, a family farm in Stanton, Mich.

Lions Club member Terry Walters said it has become a true community event in so many ways.

He said as part of this year’s sales the club had a “LIONS for the Day,” which saw the club getting some assistance with the sales, unloading of the trees and setting up the lot when the trees arrive.

“This project really is a community project!” Walters said. “We had 49 Lions for the day when the first load came in and 47 Lions for the day when the second load came in.”

The volunteers included help from the Dexter Football team, Dexter Lacrosse team, Dexter Robotics club, Dexter Boy Scout troops and Dexter Girl Scout troops.

Walters said with this being the Dexter Lions main fundraiser, they usually have around 38 Lions who volunteer to work the various shifts during the sales.

Karl Bartscht of Dexter was on tree duty recently at the lot at Creekside school.

“The funds raised help support the many projects the Dexter Lions do in the community as well as supporting many organizations in the Dexter community,” Walters said in emphasizing the main point of the sales.

Another cool community thing about it, according to Steptoe, is the majority of customers come back year after year.

“Now their children and their grand children come back to continue the family tradition,” he said.

And the customer base goes beyond Dexter. They have customers from all local communities and Wayne, Jackson, Oakland and Livingston counties.

The tree lot is located at 2615 Baker Road and the hours are noon to 8 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekends.

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