Operation Christmas Tree!

This fall one of our advertisers asked us what we thought about marketing Christmas Trees for sale. Seemed like a novel idea at the time. But at the end of the day, we’re in the radio business of building listenership and goodwill in the community.

So the notion of getting free Christmas Trees to those in need started to come to life as the next Cloud Cares Program.

The idea lingered for several weeks until we circled back to Steve Cohan at Ambary Gardens in Kittredge.

Steve has been in the greenhouse business for decades and knows a thing or two about anything that comes out of the earth.

Including Christmas Trees.

Turns out Steve had a friend in Conifer, Colorado that is in the process of clearing a nicely wooded area for some much needed affordable housing in this mountain community just southwest of Denver.

In short: if we could figure out how to safely cut and transport the trees: we could take as many as we’d like.

Conifer Crossings agreed to let us cut the trees.

Enter the largest tree services company in the world: Asplundh and its Regional Manager Chad Rucker.

Turns out Chad is not only a certified arborist and utility specialist, but a remarkable person and immediately agreed to help us cut these trees.

It was also nice to learn Asplundh has an office in Golden.

We agreed on a timeline and a delivery date.

The plan now included cutting the trees on December 10 and delivering the trees to our community partners at The Christian Action Guild to coincide with the annual Christmas Parade in downtown Golden.

With the help of BGOLDN we got the word out.

Torso Rags in Arvada even designed a logo and tee shirts for the big day.

It was now beginning to look a lot like Christmas for 100 families in need.

Preparations came together quickly with some of the Clouds advertisers and community partners to make Operation Christmas Tree the beginning of a wonderful annual event.

Within days Chick-Fil-A in Denver West agreed to provide meal cards. It’s restaurant director Joel Adams jumped on the idea and quickly had 60 gift cards activated.

Lorna Crawford the local franchisee of Pizza Hut, agreed to provide 30 free medium pizzas.

We were 10 gifts shy of 100 when the Cloud used its connection to Miners Saloon to make up the difference.

Then to everyones delight The Target Store at Colorado Mills provided a very generous gift card for toys.

We were all set and made plans to meet in Conifer Friday Morning. Then it snowed. Not just your nice December blanket of cheer, but a blinding blizzard that made even traveling in big trucks a little tricky.

Within minutes Chad and his crew from Asplundh had the situation well at hand.

With the help of Ambary, the now very wet trees, where safely delivered to CAG and secured in a moving truck on loan from Jim Smith at Golden Real Estate

The next morning we set up and for most of the day a steady flow of moms, dads, grandparents and even a few students from Mines picked up a free tree and our gifts to make the day complete.

We can hardly wait till next year.
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