Liana Montague, Tom Montague, Noelle Davenport, Jon Conradt and Ken Urman volunteer at the Mercer Island tree lot, organized this year by Mercer Island Youth and Family Services and the Lions Club. Conradt and Urman are MIYFS Foundation Board members, and Liana Montague is the MIYFS mental health counselor at Island Park Elementary. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Moyle-Croft

Liana Montague, Tom Montague, Noelle Davenport, Jon Conradt and Ken Urman volunteer at the Mercer Island tree lot, organized this year by Mercer Island Youth and Family Services and the Lions Club. Conradt and Urman are MIYFS Foundation Board members, and Liana Montague is the MIYFS mental health counselor at Island Park Elementary. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Moyle-Croft

Mercer Island tree lot returns

The beloved holiday tradition will be in a new location this year.

The Mercer Island Christmas Tree Lot opens Nov. 24, with a new organizer and a new location, the parking lot of the old Tully’s on the north end of the Island, 7810 SE 27th St.

Noble, Nordmann and Douglas firs will be available, from 5 feet to 10 feet tall. Mixed green wreaths and cedar garlands will also be for sale. The trees are sourced from Hunter Christmas Trees, a family farm dedicated to quality and service since 1948.

Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) started taking over the longtime fundraiser from the Mercer Island Lions Club last year. The Lions Club had always donated profits from the lot to a variety of Mercer Island charitable organizations, including MIYFS.

“The Lions Club began discussions that they were reaching the end of their ability to handle the lot on their own, and they reached out to us as a partner,” said MIYFS Foundation President Jody Kris.

The Farmers parking lot, which usually hosts the tree lot, wasn’t available this year, Kris said. Operations will be more constrained this year at the Tully’s lot, but it is an interim solution until a more permanent location can be found.

The lot is 100 percent run by volunteers, and open from Thursdays to Sundays (2-7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays). Interested volunteers can sign up at https://miyfs.org/donate/trees/.

“We really would appreciate anyone who would like to get in the holiday spirit and donate a few hours at the lot,” Kris said.

Last year, the net proceeds of tree sales donated to charity raised $38,000 (for MIYFS, the Lions Club, Boy Scouts and others). Another change this year is that cash will no longer be accepted; credit card payments will be accepted via Square.

“The Lions Club has done and will continue to do a lot of good in the community… This really is a tree lot where it’s about getting your tree, but more importantly, giving to others,” Kris said. “We feel strongly that we’re standing in the very large shoes of the Lions members.”

She said that MIYFS hopes to continue the tradition of the lot as a fun, communal experience that makes it easy for families to get their tree on the Island, and give back to the community.

See www.miyfs.org for more.

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