CANASTOTA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The first day Canastota saw measurable snow this season, the Romagnoli Christmas Tree Farm looked like a snow globe, setting the scene for the annual Trees for Troops campaign.
“We have about 165 trees that have been donated so far, 450 is the goal,” said Dewey Romagnoli, the owner of the tree farm.
He’s been donating trees from his farm since 2005 and each year, he adds another bow to a decorated tree. Each one reminds him of why he does it in the first place.
“It warms our hearts, especially when you get those thank yous,” he said.
Most of the trees go to troops at a military base in the U.S., who otherwise wouldn’t have the nostalgic symbol of Christmas.
This year, they need help. They’re about a third of the way to their goal with only a few weeks to go.
“It’s unbelievable the stories that you get and the thank yous that they, I mean a lot of them are tearjerkers,” said Romagnoli.
Last year, Romagnoli got a letter from a Colonel who donated trees.
One of his cadets from years past got a tree. The guy is still in the Army and they hadn’t seen each other for years, hadn’t been in contact with each other for years. The cadet sees this guy’s name, contacts him, thanks him, they’ve been in contact ever since. So, I mean, what’s the chances of that happening?Dewey Romagnoli
It’s one of the thousands of stories he can share. It’s also the reason people continue to donate year after year.
“I think people are realizing what’s important,” Romagnoli said. “Take a moment, think about the freedoms you have, and why you have these freedoms.”
Each tree is a $30 donation. The deadline to donate is Nov. 21.
You can order one for a troop by mailing a check to the farm:
Romagnoli’s Christmas Tree Farm
8498 Oneida Valley Road
Canastota, NY 13032