With a cold rain falling in Merrick last Sunday afternoon, the weather outside was frightful. Still, local folks flocked to the Merrick Fire Department’s annual Christmas tree and wreath sale at Empire Hose Company No. 3 on Merrick Avenue, across from the Merrick Library.
Among those who came to buy a tree was Bill Iger of Bellmore, a sergeant in the Nassau County Police Department’s 1st Precinct. “We try to keep everything local,” said Iger, who was shopping with his wife, Selena. “We want to support the local community, especially after our disaster, Hurricane Sandy.”
Ron Luparello, the Fire Department’s spokesman and a former chief, said the tree and wreath sale serves as a fundraiser for the department. The money raised funds the annual captain’s dinner and fishing trips to help recruit new members and keep them there, he said.
Luparello noted that the department will deliver a tree to a home. “We give it that little extra community service,” he said. “We do anything to help out the community.”
The Empire Hose Company is at 2300 Merrick Avenue. Sale hours are Monday to Friday, 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The sale will continue until all trees and wreaths are purchased, Luparello said.