Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Capitol Holiday Kids Tree Project
December 3, 1999


A special thanks to Don for that kind introduction. Don Brunell and the Association of Washington Businesses have a tremendous positive impact on our communities. This tree lighting ceremony-and the thousands and thousands of dollars worth of gifts for the children in our communities-are good examples of the generosity and care the AWB expresses throughout the year. Let's all give a big round of applause in appreciation of the AWB.

Also a special thanks to Weyerhaeuser for providing this wonderful tree and to our Capital grounds crew for hauling all 27 feet up the Capitol steps! To Steve Norris of Michael's and Gail Klein from Joann Fabrics and all of our Capitol Campus Volunteers for designing and decorating this gorgeous noble fir. And to the Olympia Chamber Choir-that was simply priceless. And Mona and I would also like to thank the residents of Olympia for providing such a warm community for us to raise our Emily and Dylan in.

The holiday season breathes life into us all. This is a time to reflect on how lucky we are to have families. Friends. Roofs over our heads. Food on our tables. It is time to give thanks for the most basic gift of all-the gift of being alive.

I think that's why it's fitting that this year's "Miracle of the Season," in the state of Washington is Kathi Goertzin.

Kathi has been bringing the news into our homes, by anchoring KOMO 4 News for 17 years. Last November, Kathi was having a hard time with her hearing in her right ear. So she went to see a specialist. And it turned out Kathi had a tumor at the base of her brain. It was a somber and scary time, but Kathi braved surgery and is back on Komo delivering news into our homes. And Kathi's back home with her husband Rick Jewett and their children Andrea (4) and Alexa (10). And her hearing's back, too.

Kathi Goertzin continues her life with a positive attitude that doesn't dwell on the possibility of remission. She is a true example of how to embrace the miracle of life, and live life to its fullest.

Kathi, would you like to say a few words?

(Kathi speaks.)

Thank you, Kathi. Please accept this gift from all of us with a big Happy Holidays.

Kathi's presence here today is a miracle. Each and every one of us has a miracle-the miracle of life. So let's take care of each other-let's take care of the miracles that surround us every day-through the holiday seasons and into the new millennium. Thank you all very much.

And now if nobody minds, I would really like to hear the Olympia Chamber Choir do another number.

Thank you. That was truly beautiful. Now let's light the tree. Will the final Official Tree-Lighters of this century, Jarrett and Makiah Hogans please join me to light this wondrous tree?

Makiah's favorite part of the holiday season is when her Uncle Carl and Cousin Pep and all of her other relatives come over for dinner and she plays her keyboard and sings for them. Her brother Jarrett, on the other hand, loves to run around the tree farm with his family, looking for the tree that's just right for his family.

And now to sanction the Capitol Holiday Kids Tree Project as a truly wonderful thing I will read an official proclamation, before Jarrett and Makiah light the tree.

(Governor reads proclamation, Hogans' light tree, elf whispers to Governor)

Oh, children! That little elf just told me that a very special guest just crawled down the Capital's chimney! And look! Here he comes now!

Santa emerges.
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