The Association of Washington Business welcomes the arrival of the 2015 holiday season Friday with a 6 p.m. Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the Capitol rotunda.
The festive event marks the conclusion of the association’s 27th annual fundraiser to benefit children and families in rural communities throughout the state.
Since 1989, AWB’s Holiday Kids’ Tree project has raised more than $360,000 for families in need.Donations gathered this year will be presented to 18 rural fire districts in nine counties, which use the funds to buy food and gifts for families in their communities. Grant, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Spokane, Thurston, Okanogan, Chelan and Walla Walla counties are this year’s recipients.
This year’s tree is a 33-foot Noble fir donated by Black Lake Christmas Trees in Olympia. This year’s theme is “Heroes Near and Far.”
In addition to traditional decorations and 5,000 LED lights, the tree will be decorated with plush characters representing cartoon heroes. After the tree comes down Dec. 30, the stuffed characters will be individually wrapped along with a Golden Book that relates to the tree’s theme and handed out to children at Seattle Children’s hospital.
WHO: Association of Washington Business
· AWB President Kris Johnson
· Secretary of State Kim Wyman
WHAT: AWB Holiday Kids’ Tree Lighting Ceremony
WHERE: Capitol Rotunda/State Legislative Building
416 Sid Snyder Avenue SW
– Welcome: Bob Covington, deputy director, WDES
– Musical performances by Kids in Concert
– Statement of appreciation: Kris Johnson, AWB president
– Additional musical selections by Kids in Concert
– Proclamation and lighting of the tree: Secretary Wyman and Okanogan County firefighters: Lt. Mark Crum and his wife Sara, daughter Macey, age 10 and son Arlen, age 8; and Senior Firefighter Zack Gurney and son Mason, age 4
– Santa arrives
About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 7,900 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10.