Editor: As the founder and president of Virginia Commerce Bank – now part of United Bank – I was surprised and extremely disappointed to learn that the officials of Wells Fargo Bank have refused to allow the Optimist Club of Arlington to use a small portion of the very large parking lot at the corner of North Glebe Road and Langston Boulevard (formerly Lee Highway) for about two weeks during the holidays for the sale of Christmas trees, as the club has done on the site for 75 consecutive years.
Proceeds from the sale are used to fund numerous activities supporting the youth of Arlington, including college and university scholarships, Little League baseball, oratorical contests and many other activities – all designed to improve character-building and career opportunities for the youth of Arlington, regardless of background.
It is astounding for a bank with the iconic and historic background of Wells Fargo to reverse the fortunes of a community service that has served Arlington faithfully without a single incident for 75 consecutive Christmas seasons. Over that period, the sale of Christmas trees in the parking lot has generated in excess of $3 million – all of which has been used to assist the growth and development of Arlington youth.
It is hopeful that the officials of Wells Fargo Bank, upon reconsideration, will once again rise to the occasion and continue their long-standing history of community service by joining with the Optimist Club of Arlington to permit the sale of Christmas trees in the coming season.
Conley Ricker, Falls Church
Ricker, a member of the Optimist Club of Arlington, is the former president of Virginia Commerce Bank and currently broker/owner of Bankers Realty.