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Chip the tree for charity

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree! Thy leaves are about to be tossed in the chipper and turned into mulch.

A long-standing Oak Bay firefighters’ tradition continues this weekend with the annual Christmas tree recycle. Firefighters host by-donation tree chipping at the Oak Bay Fire Station, 1703 Monterey Ave., with all proceeds to benefit the newly-created Oak Bay Firefighters’ Charitable Foundation.

In years past, donations have gone directly into bursaries. This year, the cash will continue to go toward the advancement of students, but now via a newly-created Oak Bay Firefighters charitable fund. The firefighters will continue to offer the bursaries, in addition to support for burn victims and pediatric medical care.

“We’re trying to become more competitive and create a larger (amount of) revenue,” said Gregory Swan of the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation. “The hope is to maintain what we’ve been giving in bursaries and expand.”

This year seven high school students, Garrett Birch – Stagecraft; Laura Dickson – Athletics; Cathleen Evans – Drama/Theatre; Emily Mills – Leadership; Thomas Mirmotahari – Athletics; Kevin Skipp - Technology; and Bree Neale – Citizenship/Leadership will receive $500 bursaries with the proceeds from the last year’s event.

Check out the tree recycle Jan. 5 and 6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Tax receipts will be given for donations over $50.

Trees are chipped off site and turned into mulch, which is placed at the Hartland Landfill on the pathways.

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