RANDOLPH, NJ - The scent of freshly cut evergreen trees is in the air outside the Millbrook Fire House on Route 10 in Randolph. The spirit of the season is in full swing, as the back of the property has been transformed into a sea of Christmas trees and wreaths for this sale, which started back in 1957.

The annual tree sale is the largest fundraiser of the year for the firehouse, according to longtime volunteer member Tony Moshella. He explained, “We are a complete and total volunteer organization. We have to raise funds to pay for all the operating expenses and building improvements, and this sale really helps us do that.” 

Moshella, who is the Christmas Tree Committee Chairman as well as the Company No. 2 Chaplin, explained further “The Fire Association owns the land and building, the town owns the trucks and equipment, everything else has to be paid for with fundraising and donations.”

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This house has a true family atmosphere as most firehouses do. There are many father and son volunteer members, and even a family spanning three generations with a father, his two sons, and two of his grandsons. There are two members who are recent RHS graduates and are currently serving the country in Afghanistan. One is Moshella's son Anthony, and the other is current Randolph Fire Chief Kevin Dunn's son Ryan. 

Bill Wagner, the current Randolph OEM Director and a two time Fire Department Chief, explained some of the history behind the sale.  “When the Millbrook Firehouse first started this sale back in the late '50s, there were many years when they were the largest Christmas tree dealer in all of New Jersey.”  Wagner continued, “They received over 6,000 trees here, which were distributed out to firehouses in other towns to help them get started with their own fundraisers.”

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The current total of trees they bring in for sale is 1,500. As the massive truck was unloaded this past Saturday, one of the volunteers held a clipboard and had the task of counting each one. Most of the 70 active volunteer members of the house were on hand for the delivery and set up. Different size trees are for sale in order to meet a variety of needs. 

The Firehouse also holds a beefsteak dinner fundraiser, which is typically held in the spring.