MHS Booster Club holds Christmas Tree Community Night

Malibu High School Athletic Club President Melissa Shanahan (center) and a committee of mom volunteers help run the Christmas tree lot. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Ornaments, custom wreaths, and, of course, Christmas trees were being sold at the annual Christmas tree lot to support the Malibu High School Athletic Booster Club. 

During the community night on Friday, Dec. 9, Malibu Middle/High School students were on site caroling, selling baked goods, and bringing holiday cheer, while also selling Christmas trees. Students were also selling home-baked goods during the community night.

Not only does the community event help support the MHS Booster Club, but the event was also entirely organized by a committee of volunteer moms.

The Malibu High School Athletic Club is a volunteer support organization that raises money for the athletic program. As funding does not cover all the teams expenses such as uniforms, equipment, helmets, sports court pads, transportation, sports cameras, and more, the organization works closely with the athletic director and coaches, to enhance the program by selling Sharkwear, the annual Christmas tree sales lot, and other fundraising activities throughout the year.

Club President Melissa Shanahan said the event has been successful so far with just about a dozen trees left to sell after Friday’s event.

“It’s been going really well,” Shanahan said. “We did it a little differently this year because we had not as many available volunteers to do it all month long as we normally do, so we almost didn’t think we could do it.”

Shanahan said they reduced the day’s amount of trees to sell due to volunteers but said having that “intimidating time frame” was most effective. 

“Instead of one person running the lot, we did it collectively and all as a team dimming everything up,” Shanahan said. “So it’s very, very different, but it’s gone really well, we’ve had fun, and it’s a lot less pressure on one person.”

Shanahan said they continued to receive support from the community despite the new hours.  

“This night tonight is amazing, I didn’t think we’d have nearly this many people,” Shanahan said. “This is really awesome, and everyone’s running into each other and chatting and just having fun and bringing the community together; it’s really rewarding.”

The Shark Fund is a parent-run volunteer organization that directly supports the schools by supplementing staff and staffed programs not provided by the district. 

Shanahan said the additional fundraisers they can organize are critical. 

“Other than what the Shark Fund provides, our next biggest income revenue is from the tree lot, so it’s very important,” Shanahan said. 

Malibu Sharks Surf Team communications volunteer Arpie Petkus said the athletic booster club helps purchase additional sports equipment that isn’t fully covered.

“All of the proceeds goes to help the athletic programs because our funding does not cover everything for our sports programs,” Petkus said. “It was a little bit tricky because it’s a lot of volunteer effort, but we’re doing a two-week tree lot, and it’s gone well, we almost sold all our trees.”

Although they experienced rain the first week, Petkus said they were still able to sell a good amount of Christmas trees.

“Melissa [Shanahan] is newly head of this committee and she has done a fabulous job of bringing parents together which has been huge, it helps takes the burdon off all of our responsibilities,” Petkus said. 

In addition to tying trees on vehicles’ roofs, Petkus said many student volunteers were personally delivering trees to people’s homes.

“We’ve just been trying to make it fun,” Petkus said. “It is a lot of work, but if you get a big group of people together, it’s more fun, and Melissa has done a wonderful job doing that.”

The City of Malibu was also on-site promoting their upcoming holiday events, such as their Breakfast with Santa and Friends on Saturday, Dec. 17. 

For additional information on the Malibu Shark Fund, visit