This year’s downtown Lovelock Christmas Tree drew compliments from residents as it was erected in front of the county courthouse last week. The tree’s multi-colored lights are off until Saturday’s lighting ceremony by Santa Claus during the Christmas Lovelock Parade of Lights.
As county workers decorated the 33-foot white fir with hundreds of lights and ornaments, indoor-sized white fir holiday trees were on sale in the parking lot of a nearby auto shop.
Lions Club Treasurer Rich Sorani explained why shopping local for a tree helps the community.
“Everything goes to our community service activities — it all stays right here,” he said. “That’s why we’re doing it. Anything our community needs. Our biggest one is eye care for anybody but mostly the kids. We’re hooked up to the Lions Eye Foundation in San Francisco. They have their own hospital and if somebody needs some serious eye care, we can send them down there.”
The trees cost $5 a foot and range from two to nine feet tall. As usual, the trees were delivered to Lovelock by a Nevada trucking company at no cost to the Lovelock Lions Club, Sorani said.
“We’ve been getting trees for years from a little old lady in Sierraville,” he said. “The local trucking company goes and gets them for us. They donate all their time. It used to be called the Fundis Company when it was headquartered here. Now it’s the Nev Cal Trucking Company.”
Tree sales support Lions Club events and a public park in Lovelock. The club hosted a big lunch crowd this week to help celebrate the high school football team’s state championship win.
“We’re taking the state championship football team out to lunch — the whole team, including the cheerleaders,” Sorani said last week. “It’s going to be quite a get-together. There’s 38 people on the team with the coaches, 12 cheerleaders and the superintendent of schools. That’s 51 guests.”
The Lions host an annual “rural-urban” social event for farmers and city residents, Sorani said.
“That’s a huge get-together where we invite all the farmers out to dinner over at the community center,” he said. “It’s to get the two communities together — the farmers and the normal people.”
The Lovelock Lions Club and others in Nevada and California sponsor students each year for a week-long summer camp known as Camp Dat-So-La-Lee located in the Ruby Mountains. Children who need a little help with their confidence and social skills are selected, Sorani said.
“It’s for ten and eleven year old kids. We let the teachers select kids they think might need a little help to come out of their cocoons,” he said. “All the Lions Clubs in northern Nevada will send kids. We usually send a boy and a girl. In two days, you can see the change in the kids.”
Sorani pointed out that the white firs in his parking lot not only benefit Lovelock, they are easier to transport, set up indoors and they smell better than any wild trees found in the local backcountry.
“Go out and look at them — they smell like Christmas,” he said. “When you consider what people have to do around here for a Christmas tree. They have to cut down one of them old mahogany buggers and they’re always too big and heavy to even get in the house.”
Lions Club Tree sales will continue until the day before Christmas. The Lovelock Lions Club tree lot is open weekdays during auto shop hours and on the weekends from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.