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Boise fifth-grader to light Capitol Christmas Tree

By Nicole Blanchard

nblanchard@idahostatesman.com

Sen. Mike Crapo congratulates Isabella Gerard, winner of a contest to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., this December.
Sen. Mike Crapo congratulates Isabella Gerard, winner of a contest to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., this December. Provided by Sen. Mike Crapo’s office

Isabella Gerard, a fifth-grade student at Boise's St. Mary's Catholic School, was chosen to help light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., in December, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Senator Mike Crapo.

Isabella was among some 200 other Idaho children who submitted entries to a contest held by Sens. Crapo and Jim Risch. Isabella's entry, a poem titled "Pristine Idaho Mountains," was chosen at random.

She will fly to Washington, D.C., with her parents, Annalyn and Josh Gerard, to join Crapo and House Speaker Paul Ryan to push the button that lights the national tree, cut this year from Idaho's Payette National Forest. The ceremony, which traditionally includes a child from the state providing the tree, will take place Dec. 6.

“The theme for this year’s Christmas tree is 'An Idaho Mountain Gem,' and I received more than 200 entries from creative students across Idaho expressing that theme and the importance of our national forests,” said Crapo in the release. “I thank all the students who submitted entries for this contest and congratulate Isabella on being selected to help light our Capitol Christmas Tree. She will serve as an excellent ambassador of Idaho’s youth during the lighting to be held in December.”

Read Isabella's winning poem below:

“Idaho is blessed with beautiful mountains and immense forests.

In the winter the mountains and forests are covered with snow,

making the landscape look like never ending clouds with skyscrapers covered in snow.

Big tall trees.

Beautiful to look at.

Amazing to see.

Pristine mountains.

As I sit in the forest I find peace.

As the wind blows through the tall ponderosa pines I feel a sense of solitude and peacefulness.

To someone that has never been in an Idaho forest, it is hard to understand the size and beauty.

If only you could be here looking at these beautiful Idaho scenes."

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