Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 5, 1997
Contact: Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136
State Capitol lights up for the holidaysOLYMPIA - Gov. Gary Locke with the aide of a local student today launched the holiday season with the flick-of-a-switch at the 1997 Capitol Kid's Tree Lighting ceremony in Olympia. Bright lights and music filled the Rotunda of the Legislative Building as hundreds of people took part in the annual holiday celebration.
The Association of Washington Business and the Capitol Campus Volunteers sponsored the event. The organizers raised $10,000 and received hundreds of donations to make this year's ceremony a huge success.
"This event personifies the holiday spirit of caring and giving," said Locke. "Every year hundreds of volunteers devote their time and energy to pull off this huge endeavor. They should be commended for the success of this ceremony. Words can never express the countless smiles they put on people's faces."
Governor Locke read a proclamation based on the popular children's classic "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." The Gospel Outreach School Choir and Synthesizer Orchestra from Olympia provided the holiday music. The highlight of the evening came when 12-year-old Colleen Brunell, a 6th grade student from South Bay Elementary School in Olympia, turned on all 2,000 lights on the 30-foot noble fir tree.
The noble fir from the Vail Tree Farm in Onalaska was donated by the Weyerhaeuser Company. Staff from Michaels Arts and Crafts donated their time and talent to decorate the tree. The tree is adorned with toys and gifts, which will be donated to children throughout the state after the holidays.