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Idaho Youth Sought to Light U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington

Crapo, Risch Announce â??An Idaho Mountain Gemâ?? Multimedia Contest to Select Winner

WASHINGTON - Through a statewide contest, one Idaho youth will be selected by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo to assist in turning on the power to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in December.  Tradition holds that one youth from the state providing the tree serve as the Tree Lighting Helper during a ceremony to formally illuminate it along with the Speaker of the House and other officials.  Idaho's Payette National Forest will provide this year's tree which will be placed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and will be lit the week of December 5.

Idaho students who would like to participate in the contest to be selected as the Tree Lighting Helper are invited to submit an entry. The multimedia contest, which keeps the theme of the Capitol Christmas Tree-"An Idaho Mountain Gem"-- is open to Idaho students in grades 1 through 6 and is running from September 9-September 30, 2016.  The entry must be original and capture the theme of this year's celebration while also highlighting the importance of our national forests.  Submissions may be any form of multimedia such as an essay or poem of up to 100 words, a two-minute song or video, or an original piece of artwork such as a drawing, painting, photograph, ornament, sculpture or 3-D object.  Specific rules and entry forms are available at the Capitol Christmas Tree website. All submissions will be reviewed, and the Tree Lighting Helper will be selected at random from the entries. The selected student will flown to Washington, DC, to join the lighting ceremony on the lawn of the US Capitol.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Idaho youth to be part of lighting the Capitol Christmas Tree that will be cut from Idaho's own Payette National Forest," said Crapo.  "This contest will challenge Idaho's youth to express their creativity in how they capture and convey the spirit of this year's theme and the important role of our national forests.  I look forward to seeing the submissions."

"It's such an honor to have this year's Capitol Christmas Tree come from Idaho's Payette National Forest," said Senator Jim Risch, a graduate of the University of Idaho's College of Forestry. "This contest provides a unique opportunity for Idaho students to foster their creativity. I look forward to seeing a piece of Idaho in Washington, D.C. this Christmas season."

Additional details on the contest as well as how to submit entries may be found at  Taxpayer funds are not used to fly the winner to Washington.


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