Frederick High group picks up discarded Christmas trees -- Gazette.Net



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At this year’s Safe and Sane party for Frederick High School’s senior class, organizers are planning games, food and a fashion show.

“We have a really great group of guys this year who are close and would dress up and do that,” said Pam Taylor, one of the 10 parents on a committee helping to organize this year’s event, scheduled for June 3.

How to help

To donate to Frederick High School’s Safe and Sane event, mail or drop off the donation at Frederick High School, 650 Carroll Parkway, Frederick, Md., 21701.

Safe and Sane is a substance-free, graduation-night event that keeps students off the road at one of the most statistically dangerous times of the year for high school students.

Many of Frederick County’s 10 high schools host such events, which typically are organized by a committee of parents.

“It is a celebration for the graduating seniors,” said Taylor, whose son, Nick, plans to attend. “It provides a safe environment for them to celebrate their achievements without the risks of alcohol, drugs or teenage car accidents.”

The Frederick High event is $75 for students to attend but was $50 for those who registered early. The Safe and Sane committee also plans to help students pay if they are unable to afford the fee.

The Frederick High group is hoping to raise about $6,000 this year to help make its event a success, which will include food, giveaways, transportation and more.

To help them reach their goal, they raised about $725 on Saturday by picking up discarded Christmas trees for a donation. Most people gave $10 but some gave more, Taylor said.

Frederick High parents and students then took the trees to a county recycling area to be turned into mulch.

Claudia Nealley of Frederick said her husband, Mark Nealley, and their son, Luke, 17, helped pick up the Christmas trees on Saturday.

During the fundraiser — a first for the group — she said parents and students picked up at least 35 trees. Some had prearranged to have their trees picked up but others were spontaneous, she said.

“We had people undecorating their trees on the porches,” Nealley said. “One guy threw his off the porch. People were happy to have us put the needle-dropping trees in our trucks, not their cars.”

Nealley said the event worked because it is a service that people need.

Although there are several Christmas tree drop-off points in the county, there is no curbside pickup in Frederick County or in Frederick city.

“Some people had put their tree out thinking the city was going to come,” she said.

Taylor said she plans to serve on the Safe and Sane committee again next year when her daughter, Rachel Taylor, is a senior, and hopes they again pick up trees to raise money for the celebration.

ecunningham@gazette.net