WARREN, NJ — Danny Paltjon, a 1994 graduate of Watchung Hills Regional High School, started selling Christmas trees five years ago from a family lot at 235 Greenbrook Road to benefit local children with medical issues and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The fifth annual Christmas tree sale started on Saturday Nov. 29 at Malanga's Springdale Farm in Warren and on Dec. 5, 6 and 7, trees will also be sold at 235 Greenbrook Road in Green Brook. Due to predicted weekend rain, the Greenbrook Road location will now be open from 4-10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5. and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 7. The Greenbrook Road location is also offering free local delivery.
Last year, recipients of the funds raised were Daniel Knowles, a 13-year-old Piscataway boy who is battling a life-threatening illness, and Quaid Mobus, a now 22-year-old from Warren who recently sustained a serious spinal cord injury.
Paltjon suffered a baseball injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down, and after receiving so much support from family, friends and neighbors, he decided to pay back the kindness by starting the Christmas tree fundraiser.
The two recipients this year, Danny Garofalo and Jake Murray, are both suffering from duchess muscular dystrophy.
Paltjon has raised more than $24,000 through the sale of Christmas trees, with all the money going to the children and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish continues to provide some amazing trips. Brian Marsh, a former tree fundraiser recipient diagnosed in 2010, excitedly said he decided on a trip to Disney.
There are approximately 300 trees, ranging from 5 feet to 8 feet, that need a home. On Dec. 5, 6 and 7 only, the yard at 235 Greenbrook Road will turn into a Christmas wonderland with music, a bonfire, coffee, hot chocolate and food. The atmosphere of the tree lot is worth experiencing. They serve egg nog and sandwiches, blast Chrstimas tunes from a sound system, and Santa Claus even makes an appearance. People don't just buy a tree and leave, they stay and join in the festivities.
For those individuals who need a tree during the week, Malanga's Farm & Greenhouses in Warren will be selling them every day.
Paltjon is the youngest of six children and his mom Marva Paltjon said, " For Danny to do what he does after all he's been through, my heart just leaps." And this year, he's again running the tree sale from his new home in Florida with the help of his extended family in Green Brook.
The first year selling Christmas trees, the proceeds were split to help Bridgewater resident Anthony Vicente, then 5, who had been diagnosed with kidney cancer, and a nine-year-old girl with bone cancer.
The Vicente's still help out with the tree sale and Anthony is four years in remission.
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