Celebrating the season and supporting community with a Dexter Lions Club Christmas Tree


All smiles while getting a tree ready to go home. photo courtesy of the Dexter Lions Club

For over 40 years, the Dexter Lions Club has been selling Christmas trees. It’s helped make many local Christmases a fun one while at that same time it’s been a great way for the club to help the community.

This season, the Dexter Lions Club is right back at their tree lot on Baker Road at Creekside Intermediate School. With a variety of types, sizes and price ranges, the trees are there for the picking.

In an effort to highlight this great community project, the Sun Times News (STN) reached out to Dexter Lions Club President Becky Walters.

STN asked her what it means to Lions Club members to still be doing this great project all of these years later.

“The Dexter Lions continue to sell trees each year because it is a fun project,” says Walters. “They get to see the returning customers each year. They meet new people that have come to the lot for the first time. Selling the trees is a great way to build a stronger community relationship.”

The Dexter Lions started selling Christmas trees in 1980. Walters said the first chairmen for the project were Don Stoll and Jerry Wheeler. She said the Staley family was the first Dexter family to sell trees in the area. When they decided to stop selling trees, Walters said they were happy that the Dexter Lions were interested in selling trees in Dexter.

“Mr. Staley was happy that the Dexter Lions were ready to take over,” Walters said. “The first year that they sold trees we sold 285 trees. The first location for the tree lot was at the Gould Gas Station for about 10 years, it moved to the A&W for two years and then they found their final location at the Dexter schools for 21 years.”

The chairman for the project today is Bob Steptoe. He has been the chairman for 11 years.

STN asked, why Christmas trees?

Walters said the Lions had tried a couple of other fundraisers before settling on the Christmas trees.

“They tried selling light bulbs door to door. Then they tried selling large Candy Canes with candy inside. John Wehr was president at the time and he was a dentist in town... he didn't think the candy sales was a good idea!” said Walters. “So it was Christmas trees that finally became the new project for the club.”

The Lions start the Christmas tree lot project in October when they make contact with the growers and discuss how many trees they can get. Then in early November, Walters said, they get the first load of trees with the second load coming the following weekend. With the help of many students, advisors and coaches from the high school as well as other community members and club members they unload the trees at the lot. Then they set up the racks that hold the trees and fill the racks.

Dexter High School students lend a hand. photo courtesy of the Dexter Lions Club

They start selling trees the Friday after Thanksgiving and continue until all trees are sold. Sales hours are Monday -Friday 2 to 8 p.m. and then Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Walters said this year the Lions started with 1,170 trees. They get the trees from  Arend's Tree Farm in Grass Lake.

The heights of the trees range from 2-4 feet to 6-8 feet. The prices range from $40 to $85. The types of tress sold are Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Cannan Fir and White Pine. They also sell wreaths that range in size from 12 inches to 48 inches, roping for around doors and on the fireplace mantels and tree stands.

The tree lot is located right next to Creekside school, which is at 2615 Baker Road.

“Without the sales from the trees, the club would not have been able to build the Gazebo in Monument Park and do several updates in the park,” Walters said. “They also built what is called Lions Park next to the Encore Theater. With the sales of the trees they are able to offer academic scholarships to Dexter students. They also help families of Dexter school age kids to purchase eye glasses. There are many organizations in Dexter that they offer support. This is all made possible by the sales of the trees.”

photo courtesy of the Dexter Lions Club
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