Trees for Troops

| 03 Jan 2019 | 10:57

By Laurie Gordon
Tony Cerbo and his son, Tyler, wanted to do something for troops overseas this Christmas season, so they did what they do best: they provided Christmas trees.
The idea struck them at a trade show where they found out about an organization called Trees for Troops.
“We knew we only had a few months, but Tyler ran with this,” Tony said.
Trees grown on the family farm in Frankford Township, in Sussex County, were transported to the Cerbo's distribution center in Parsippany.
“We were able to contribute something to our troops and involve our community in doing so,” Tyler said.
Akin to a great holiday movie, where community unites for a cause, the Cerbos served as conduit.
“The community made this happen,” Tony said. “The mayor of Parsippany, the Girl Scouts, and local firemen all pitched in to help the troops.”
Since the Cerbos are growers and distributers, Trees for Troops, asked them to secure and distribute trees, in advance of FedEx pickup. In fact, Cerbos were in charge of all aspects other than the pickup.
This year's crop of trees is particularly important to the Cerbo family. Tyler's best friend, Pete Klimek, who is now a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and who worked on the Cerbo farm, is currently deployed in Europe.
“He actually planted these trees himself,” Tyler said. “This year we used those same trees to get them out to service members so it came full circle.”
Tony said this brought extra importance to the family since one of their own is in the service.
“I never served, and have always felt indebted to the military,” he said. “This is a great way we can help.”
The Cerbo family donated 110 trees which traveled to Fort Stewart in Georgia. Nationwide 16,500 trees were donated and traveled as far as Guam. Next year, it will grow exponentially, Tony said.
“We'll be making this huge, by adding our Sussex County farm as not just a place where the trees are grown, but as a second distribution center.”