East Bay Boy Scouts Lose Thousands in Christmas Tree Scandal

An East Bay Boy Scout troop leader lost thousands of dollars last week after a company took money to deliver Christmas trees for a fundraiser but was a no-show on delivery day.

The troop sells trees to raise the money that pays for activities all year long. A few months ago the troop paid a company in Washington State $5,000 for 500 Christmas trees. Last Monday the trucker who was supposed to pick up the trees for the troop called the scout leader to say that nobody showed up.

Stephen DeMarco, the scout leader, said that no trees means no fundraising, so he put up $5,000 himself and started calling other tree farms.

"I'm confident that over time, I'll get the money," Demarco said. "It may not be this Christmas, maybe next Christmas. I'm in the Scouts for the long-haul so it is what it is."

The troop got in touch with the wholesaler who was supposed to deliver the trees to the trucker, and it appeared there was some confusion. Some trees arrived last Friday, some given to the local troop on credit. 

The troop believes that if they sell all 400 of the trees that they currently have they will still make a profit and the fundraiser will be a success.

Other charities experienced similar issues. One organization out of San Francisco put up $150,000 and did not receive any trees. 

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