The Hutton Settlement Children’s Home on East Wellesley Avenue is a thriving “home away from home” for about 30 children and young people who, for whatever reason, cannot live with their families.
Every holiday season they put on a spectacular Christmas Tree Farm fundraiser to help fund some of the supplemental programs – like sustainable farming, woodworking and photography – they enjoy for the rest of the year.
“The kids run the whole thing. They do the farming, the cutting, the selling – all of it,” said Jessica Laughery, Director of Community Relations and Stewardship at Hutton. “Typically, we have both you cut your own and ready to go trees, but because of COVID we have had to change things a little this year.”
You can’t cut your own tree, but there is a huge selection of farmed trees available alongside wild trees harvested on Mount Spokane.
“We also have a drive-up option where you can pick a tree without leaving your car,” Laughery said.
Fresh wreaths and real garland for $1.75 a foot is also available. The trees go for $30 and up, depending on variety and size.
“The Christmas tree fundraiser is something we look forward to every year,” Laughery said. “This year, because of COVID, we realize this may be one of very few things a family can go out and do together. We have decorated a lot and just tried to make it extra festive.”
Hutton was the brainchild of Levi “Al” Hutton, who grew up as a displaced orphan from Iowa, and his suffragette wife, May Arkwright Hutton. The two met in Wallace, Idaho, married in 1887 and invested in the Hercules Mine which made them millionaires in 1901. They moved to Spokane soon after, where sadly the formidable May Arkwright Hutton didn’t live to see her husband’s dream of a children’s home come to fruition in 1919.
Hutton’s children go to school in the West Valley School District, so Laughery said they had to make the same adjustments this summer as everyone else.
She also said to not wait too long before you stop by to pick a perfect tree.
“The sale is only running as long as supplies last,” Laughery said. “With COVID and everything going on, we don’t know how large a crowd to expect this year.”
The sale runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19 and hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekdays are less crowded and the best option for those who want to limit their exposure to other people. Hutton is located at 9907 E. Wellesley Avenue.