Join Governor Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown in lighting the California State Christmas Tree on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Open viewing to the public at 4:00 p.m. Celebrate the holiday season along with fellow Californians with musical performances and the official lighting of the tree.
***Please note seating will not be available***
Please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to California Emergency Foodlink. Contributions will be distributed to food banks for those in need throughout our state.
Mistress of Ceremonies, Kitty O'Neal
Governor's Own DET 1, 40th ID Band, Brass Quintet, California National Guard
Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera
Oakland Military Institute
Oakland School for the Arts
St. Paul's Choir
Angel Valencia-Ceja will help the Governor light the tree
2013 California State Christmas Tree
The 2013 California State Christmas Tree is a 55-foot Whitefir from the Latour Demonstration State Forest in Redding. The tree has been decorated with approximately 10,000 energy-efficient LED bulbs, along with 500 hundred ornaments decorated by children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Foodlink was founded in 1992 in partnership with the California Department of Social Services with the mission to find sensible solutions to hunger that effectively address its root causes: poverty and joblessness. To accomplish its mission, Foodlink has implemented a strategy of building better communities by providing jobs, preventing hunger and training for the future. At no charge to recipient agencies, Foodlink delivers more than 120 million pounds of food per year throughout California. Foodlink delivers government commodities from The Emergency Food Assistance Program as well as fresh produce collected under the statewide agricultural food rescue program, Donate-Don't Dump. It is a Distribution Partner of Feeding America and has both statewide and local programs. Through innovative programming and an intense desire to create change, Foodlink has been fighting hunger in California for two decades.
CaliforniaVolunteers is the state office that manages programs and initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Californians engaged in service and volunteering.
Kitty O'Neal anchors the highly rated and award winning KFBK Afternoon News from 4-7 pm, a show she has hosted for 20 years. She is also KFBK's Lifestyle Editor and provides news updates and feature reports throughout the day. Now in her 27th year with KFBK, Kitty has served in various capacities, including producing talk shows for KFBK and serving as News Director for seven years on sister station KGBY-FM. Kitty donates much of her time and talent to community events and charitable organizations. Since 2001, the readers of that magazine have annually voted Kitty the Best Afternoon Drive Radio Personality in Sacramento. Before her media work, Kitty sang professionally in a touring musical group and continues to perform today. She graduated with Honors from California State University, Sacramento and has her BA Degree in Communication Studies. She is married to Kurt Spataro, a local Executive Chef and Restaurateur. Kitty is passionate about animals, especially felines, and she and Kurt have several cats. Kitty is an avid traveler, and designs and sews clothing for herself when she has time. She and Kurt have lived in the Curtis Park neighborhood of Sacramento for 22 years.
Eight year old Angel Valencia-Ceja will help Governor Brown light the State Christmas Tree. He is from Vallejo, California, and enjoys playing with his brother, singing, dancing, and playing on the piano. Angel receives services from the North Bay Regional Center.
With twenty-nine books published in poetry, spoken word, novels for young adults and collections for children, Juan Felipe continues to work for all audiences. His recent awards for his poetry include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, the Latino International Award, the PEN USA award and the Josephine Miles Pen/Oakland Award. He is a member of the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poetry and recently was appointed by California Governor Brown as the California Poet Laureate. Juan Felipe says, “If you want to write for the people pour kindness inside every word.”
Son of farm workers, born in Fowler, California, Juan Felipe, invites all to be part of “The Most Incredible and Biggest Poem on Unity in the World,” his laureate project encouraging Unity in the schools, communities, California at-large and creative response to crises that take place in the nation and the world. To date, Juan Felipe has gathered poems, phrases and words from children, community residents, students and writers on the Sandy Hook Children’s Tragedy, The Boston Bombing and the Typhoon in the Philippines. In addition, he also has worked with schools on the “i-Promise Joanna Project” addressing bullying and the new “Think Before Your Send,” Instant Messaging Poem Placards. His new work in progress is a non-fiction Latina and Latino Heroes chapter book for young audiences. At the University of California in Riverside, he is a Professor of Creative Writing. With his partner and poet, Margarita Robles, he lives in Fresno.
The DET 1, 40th ID Band was first organized on May 8, 1861, as the band of the First California Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The band is one of the oldest units in the California National Guard, and one of the oldest bands in the United States Army. Currently stationed in Sacramento, the band, known as "The Governor's Own," has performed for every governor's inauguration since 1928-2007, and regularly performs at the State Capitol. The band and its small groups performed at 44 events for 70,000 people (military and civilian) this last year, not including nearly 2 million people via local and international television broadcasts. The DET 1, 40th ID Band has received the State of California Governor's Outstanding Unit Award on several occasions. The band's mission is to provide musical support to the troops, be the ambassador for the California Army National Guard, and promote our national interests. Band performances include a variety of music from patriotic selections to the Big Band Era. The band's 41 members reside throughout northern California and meet once or twice a month to rehearse and support military and community events throughout the state.
The Oakland Military Institute was founded in 2001 by then Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, who had a vision for a school with high expectations for student achievement, conduct, character, patriotism, and leadership. The founding leadership team of the school consisted of Brigadier General Ezell Ware, Brigadier General Ralph Marinaro, Colonel Gary Richards, Chief Warrant Officer Gerald Martin, Chief Warrant Officer Garrett Roosevelt, and Chief Warrant Officer Harold Newsom. The first summer encampment took place at Camp San Luis Obispo in June and July 2001. A class of 157 7th graders successfully completed that encampment and enrolled in August of 2001. The sixth grade was added during the summer of 2004 and the 2006-2007 school year saw the first complement of all grade levels 6-12 enrolled at the Academy. The first graduating class of 61 seniors held commencement at the Lake Merritt Bandstand on Saturday, June 6, 2007. Of the graduating class, 22 were continuously enrolled since their 7th grade year. The California Attorney General Jerry Brown was the commencement speaker. Eighty percent of the first graduating class was accepted to four year colleges and universities.
Oakland School for the Arts was founded by then Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown in 2002 and balances an immersive arts program with a comprehensive academic curriculum, providing students unique opportunities for learning, innovation, expression and personal growth. OSA's arts and academic programs build discipline and confidence, effectively preparing creative youth to achieve their potential both in and outside of the arts. OSA attracts and retains a broad range of students drawn together by the organizing paradigm of the arts into a cohesive community. OSA's students demonstrate the value of creativity in academia. Over 95% of OSA graduates have gained admission to 4-year colleges and universities.
The St. Paul's Choir performs at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in South Sacramento and is very active in their community.
The California Department of Developmental Services is the agency through which the State of California provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. These disabilities include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and related conditions. Services are provided through state-operated developmental centers and community facilities, and contracts with 21 nonprofit regional centers. The regional centers serve as a local resource to help find and access the services and supports available to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
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