Pioneer Trails Tree Farm in Poland, and Stepuk Tree Farm in Canfield, are ready to chop some trees to send overseas as part of Operation Evergreen. The program enables local tree farms to provide Christmas trees to troops serving overseas during the holidays.
Numerous American troops will be celebrating Christmas with Ohio grown trees this year. In early November, Mary Jan Perdulla will be harvesting Canaan Fir trees, approximately six feet in height, from her farm in Poland Ohio. Mark Stepuk will be harvesting several White Pine from his farm in Canfield. Both farms are part of the Ohio Christmas Tree Association, which supports Operation Evergreen.
Across Ohio, more than 100 trees will be donated by various Ohio Christmas tree growers and inspected by the Department of Nursery inspectors, before being sent to soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait. In addition to the trees, decorations will be donated by local schools, churches, nursing homes, and veterans groups, ensuring the military units receiving the trees, will have all that is needed to celebrate the holidays. Ornament donations can be dropped off at Pioneer Trails Tree Farm, 4222 Center Road by Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Displaying their homemade ornaments that will be heading overseas this Christmas are Poland Union students, in front: kindergarteners Jacob Hayes and MaKenna Ray, and in back: fourth-graders Nathan Hayes, Ashley Ray and Bronson Bilkie.
At Poland Union Elementary, students from kindergarten through fourth grade have been working hard on decorations for the trees.
"Poland Union's students decided to help out by creating the ornaments with the support of devoted PTO members," said Union Principal Mike Masucci.
The student's ornaments are bagged and sent with the trees. When the trees arrive at the military bases, the soldiers can decorate them with the ornaments.
According to Perdulla, assistance is still needed to be able to ship the trees. She said the cost for each tree is $130. She said anyone who would like to help out could contact her at Pioneer Trails Tree Farm at 330-757-0884, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Ohio Christmas Tree Association office at 740-828-3331, or email email@example.com for more information and a donation form. Donations can be mailed directly to the Ohio Christmas Tree Association- 6870 Licking Valley Road, Frazeysburg, Ohio 43822. Donations will be accepted thru the end of the year.
"Hopefully the trees can bring a little bit of home to our troops who will be spending the holidays away from their families" said Perdulla. "We are appreciative of all the local schools and groups that contribute ornaments, cards and letters."