Patrick Robinson
Steve Furney and Lou Desimone tending the lot at Tony's Trees at 35th and Barton said they have hundreds to choose from of all types. Prices start at $30 and they can provide flocking in colors too! They can help you if you know a family that needs a tree that cannot afford one.

UPDATE: If you are a family in need, free Christmas Trees have been donated

'Friends of Zach's free trees' helped the disadvantaged at Tony's Trees

UPDATE Dec. 20
When the Herald shared the offer of free trees for needy families at Tony's Trees at 35th and Barton there was no way to know the response. Well, it was huge.

Norm Smith, the man behind the offer said, "All the free ones are gone but they still have trees available for purchase and at the same time I want to thank everyone for making this a success."

They gave away 50 trees in the space of a few hours yesterday and Smith said, "we managed to make a better Christmas for a whole bunch of people!"

Trees at Tony's are still available for sale (it is a business after all) and they still have a great selection. If you need a tree, they are open from 9am to 8 through Christmas Eve.

Original Post Dec. 19
Christmas Trees are a big business and form the basis of many organization's fund raising efforts during the holiday season. But for some, Christmastime is the most difficult of the year. With an emphasis on commercialism seemingly coming sooner and the calls to buy, buy, buy louder and more frequent, even something as simple as a tree is out of reach for the disadvantaged.

Enter West Seattle High class of 74 alum Norm Smith who has teamed up again this year with Joey Genzales of Tony's Market to give away free Christmas trees to those families needing a little extra Christmas spirit.

Smith's son Zach has overcome 9 brain surgeries and inspired many with his will to live and to do good for others. He is a Special Olympics participant. His example and that of many other participants prompted Genzales to do something to honor Zach and his will to overcome his hardship.

The program is called "Friends of Zach's free trees".

Genzales wanted a way to honor Zach and his never ending spirit of positive thinking and giving to others.

He said "If Zach can do so much after having the right side of his brain removed, what can we do to better the lives of other children?" The program began last year, set up by Genzales and Smith to help Special Olympics families who could not afford a tree.

It was soon expanded to include other families without a special needs child in West Seattle due to stories of children without Christmas trees. "No child should be without a Christmas tree" is their motto.

To get a tree:

1. If you are in need of a free tree, go up to Tony's Market on 35th S.W. and S.W. Barton and see Joey Genzales. Mention the magic words "I'm a friend of Zach's" and he will hook you up with a nice tree.

2. If you know a local family in need of a free tree, go see Joey, mention the magic words, and again he will make sure you are taken care of.

3. This program is self funded, so if you don't need a free tree but are able to help out, please stop by and see Joey, drop off a little donation, and make a child's Christmas a little merrier.

Thank you to Joey and all those up at Tony's Market for sharing in the true Christmas spirit of giving.

Of course if you CAN afford a tree, Tony's will be open through Christmas Eve. They open at 9am stay open till 8pm and have hundreds of trees to choose from and can flock in many colors (we even saw a purple "Husky" tree). With other lots in the area sold out, Tony's is one of the few in West Seattle with a nice selection.

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