Town Killing Off Christmas Charity

It is one of those “can’t see the forest thru the trees” scenarios — literally.

Springettsbury Township in York County, Pennsylvania, wants to end a 20-year tradition by denying the operation of Glenn Olsen’s Christmas Tree Lot due to a new ordinance dealing with temporary use permits.

Big deal, right? After all, old Glenn can just move his tree lot somewhere else, correct?


For more than 20 years Olsen has operated the Christmas tree lot from Ollie’s parking lot at 1081 Haines Road, with after-expense funds going to the York County Food Bank. Olsen told the supervisors that sales from the lot provided “eight tons of food and 115 turkeys for York County families last year.”

But to Springettsbury Township manager John Holman and the board of supervisors that there is no way around the law when it comes to Glenn Olsen’s Christmas tree lot. Citing the code, Holman says the township “can’t distinguish beetween nonprofits and for-profit corporations,” stressing that you “cannot treat them different.”

2 thoughts on “Town Killing Off Christmas Charity

  • October 5, 2007 at 4:48 am

    This action by Springettsbury Township has nothing to do with Christmas. A number of other temporary evernts (not related to Christmas) were also caught up in this new ordinance.

    The newspaper tried to sensationalize this like they often do. While they characterize this as a Christman Charity, I wonder how they know that. While the business of selling Christmas trees at this site uses the name of a charity to appeal to its customers, what makes it a charity. Is it a business that sells thousands and thousands of dollars of Christmas trees and then donates $100 to the charity. Is that a charity?

  • October 6, 2007 at 8:23 am

    Isn’t there business licensing in Springettsbury Township? Why does a 20-year tradition that claims to help charity have to prove that status? Other than Wal Mart and target, when isn’t a Christmas tree lot a temporary event? Seems to me the council is being a bit rigid unnecessarily.

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