Optimist Club Christmas tree lot; 2021 Plant City Christmas Parade.
Optimist Club Christmas tree lot
For nearly 60 years, the Plant City Optimist Club has been helping the youth within the Plant City community, following its motto of “Friend of Youth.” Their work each year is primarily funded by Christmas tree sales at their annual Christmas tree lot.
Each year, the club sells over 900 Christmas trees at their lot and for several years, the club has offered a discount on the purchase of a tree in exchange for a donation of three or more cans or boxes of non-perishable food items. Partnering with the United Food Bank of Plant City, these commodities will be used to help local families during the holiday season. This year, the club is offering a $5 discount on any tree from the lot with the donation of three of three or more cans or boxes of non-perishable food.
“We do not know how many families we will be able to help, but we hope it will be a lot” said Jack Holland, two-time past president of the local Optimist Club and Director of the City of Plant City Parks & Recreation Department. “There are a number of families that struggle to keep their children involved in productive activities and off the streets. With this help, maybe these parents will be able to involve their children in one more program to help develop them into our strong leaders of the future.”
The club has just two fundraisers each year, the Christmas tree lot and their annual golf tournament that was most recently held in October. All proceeds from these two fundraisers go to support local youth programs such as $1,000 college scholarships and $500 tech school scholarships, cooking and feeding participants at the annual city-sponsored Easter Egg Hunt, recognizing outstanding seniors at Plant City High School during a Youth Appreciation Banquet, hosting a Respect for Law banquet for middle school students, participating in the Citizen of the Year program, hosting a youth Oratorical Contest and providing Kid Comfort Packs for the Plant City Police Department.
The Optimist tree lot opens on Nov. 22 and they will sell trees at least through the second week of December. The lot will be located at Maki Road and West Alexander Street, just outside Plant City High School, and is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Last year some larger tree sizes were difficult to obtain and this year proves to be a challenge as well, therefore the distributor has advised the club that larger trees may be in short demand again. If you will be searching for a larger tree size, it is encouraged that those customers come out early to purchase their Christmas tree at the lot this year.
For more information on the Plant City Optimist Club or its activities, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.plantcityoptimistclub.org.
2021 Plant City Christmas Parade
Plant City’s hometown Christmas Parade, “Celebrate the Season – 2021”, will be held on Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.
Plant City’s Home-town Christmas Parade is a family-friendly event and all are invited to come out and enjoy the fun. Bring your family, friends and neighbors for a great time together. The parade route will start at Collins and Alsobrook Streets, travel north on Collins through downtown, turn right onto Reynolds Street and end at the courthouse. Spectators are asked to begin lining up on Collins, one block north of Alsobrook Street in order to view the parade in its entirety and to save space for the parade participants to line up properly.
This year’s Grand Marshals will be a tribute to our local Health Care Workers and 1st Responders. Representatives from South Florida Baptist Hospital, Suncoast Community Health Center, Plant City Fire Rescue, and the Plant City Police Department will be recognized and honored by riding on a float that will be provided by Plant City Christmas Parade, Inc., and its 2021 parade sponsors.
The parade is sure to include beautifully decorated floats, high energy marching bands, heart-warming church participation, civic and service groups, local business participation and of course you can expect a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus to help kick off the 2021 Christmas Season Celebration.
Parade sponsors are needed and sponsorships are available for as little as $150.00. All contributions are tax-deductible and will directly benefit the 2021 parade as money collected will either offset the cost of transporting local marching bands to the parade or by providing floats for local schools that do not have the budget for supplying one for their students. If interested in being a parade sponsor, contact Marsha Passmore at 813-245-2244, Sharon Moody at 813-453-7134, or Dodie White at 813-927-0595.
A representative from each entrant is required to attend a MANDATORY safety meeting on Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center, 302 South Maryland Avenue, Plant City. No exceptions.