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Scouts get 60 Christmas trees after theft

Nov. 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

KINGSTON, N.Y., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A New York Christmas-tree seller arranged to replace 60 trees stolen from a Boy Scouts council that was selling the trees as a fundraiser, the council said.

Adams Fairacre Farms, an upscale Hudson Valley food and farm market, donated 40 of its trees to the Boy Scouts of America's Rip Van Winkle Council and arranged for one of its wholesale florists to donate 20 more, council Executive Director Ray Braun said.

The Boy Scouts' trees were stolen from a suburban Kingston, N.Y., parking lot not far from one of Adams' stores.

"It's unbelievable," Braun told the Kingston Daily Freeman of Adams' unsolicited donation, adding that other Kingston-area community members have also reached out to help the council after the theft.

He said the spontaneous support made him feel like James Stewart in the Frank Capra classic film "It's a Wonderful Life," when a flood of townspeople suddenly arrive with more than enough donations to save George Bailey and the Bailey Building and Loan Association.

Adams nursery Manager Jason Becker told the newspaper, "I just felt like it was the right thing to do."

Becker said he did not believe the donation would hurt Adams' ability to sell trees. The Poughkeepsie-based chain often donates to local organizations, he said.

Alders Wholesale Florist in nearby Newburgh donated the 20 other trees.

Sixty Christmas trees were stolen and a 40-foot display stand was vandalized at the scouts' site early Thanksgiving morning. The council's out-of-pocket loss was $3,000 to $4,000, Braun said at the time.

Police were examining video from nearby security cameras in the hope of identifying suspects.

The council sells the trees to raise money to aid scouts going to its 500-acre Camp Tri-Mount in the Catskill Mountains northwest of Kingston, which is on the Hudson River about 90 miles north of New York City.

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