The Capitol Christmas Tree made stops on its way to Washington
November 23, 2022 | 11:08 am CST
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

EIGHTY FOUR, Pa. -- 84 Lumber, the nation's largest privately held building materials supplier, hosted the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at its store in North Chesterfield, Virginia, as it made its annual trip to Washington, D.C. 84 Lumber is the proud presenting sponsor of what is known as 'The People's Tree' this holiday season.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree initiative is a 50-year tradition in which one of the nation's 154 national forests provides a tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. The project is made possible with support from partners like 84 Lumber, along with cash and in-kind contributions from companies large and small as well as volunteers locally and across the nation. The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program creates the opportunity to spotlight public lands with billions of trees across diverse ecosystems.

“84 Lumber is proud to sponsor the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree that brings so many people joy throughout the holidays," said 84 Lumber President Maggie Hardy Knox. "We're excited to welcome the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Richmond, an area where we have strong connections to the community."

This year, the 1,000 mile journey began in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest, making several stops along the way, including the stop at the 84 Lumber store in North Chesterfield, Va. and then on to the Capitol lawn. Joining 84 Lumber store associates and vendor partners in welcoming the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Richmond, were officials from state and local government, including Virginia State Senators Joe Morrisey and Ghazala Hashmi, Chief Deputy Secretary Parker Slaybaugh - Agriculture and Forestry, Deputy Secretary Jason Pak - Veterans and Defense Affairs, Forest Supervisor of the National Forest of North Carolina James Melonas, and Ed Zimmer-Deputy State Forester Virginia Department of Forestry.

This year's U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a 78-foot tall Red Spruce nicknamed "Ruby." The tree will be displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., with a tree-lighting ceremony hosted by the Architect of the Capitol and Speaker of the House on November 29th.

A $100,000 Holiday Gift to Military Veterans & Families
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree has stood on the West Front Lawn, in war and in peace, bringing Americans together during the holiday season and projecting a sense of hope and strength. In addition to sponsoring the 2022 Tree, 84 Lumber is donating North Carolina-grown Christmas trees to military families at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in celebration of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and the season of giving.

"We want to thank our men and women in uniform as we look at this tree as a symbol of hope, peace, and unity. Its nickname 'The People's Tree,' is a tribute to its special ability to unite us as a nation," said Frank Cicero, Chief Operating Officer, 84 Lumber.

In a special tribute to veterans and military families, 84 Lumber announced a $100,000 donation for the Richmond Fisher House. "At 84 Lumber, we make it a priority to show appreciation to our military, whether it's hiring veterans or supporting veteran causes. It is such an honor to support the mission of the Richmond Fisher House, as we help lessen the burden faced by so many families of veterans who want to be close to their loved ones during a terribly stressful time," said Cicero.

"We appreciate this generous support from 84 Lumber," said Wayne Walker of the Richmond Fisher House. "When a loved one is undergoing medical treatment, having family nearby is critical to recovery. The men and women of 84 Lumber understand that and are dedicated to helping us provide 'homes away from home' during this critical time."

The Fisher House facilities provide lodging to the families of veterans receiving treatment at the Central Virginia VA Health Care System hospital, at no cost. The recently opened second Fisher House provides lodging for an additional 20 families of veterans and military, allowing them to be close to their loved ones at the most stressful time – during their hospitalization. This will bring the total number of families served by Fisher House at Richmond VAMC to 40 a night, saving military and veterans' families more than $1.4 million a year.

84 Lumber has been a partner to the Fisher House Foundation since 2019. Fisher Houses have provided free temporary housing to 368,000 military and veterans' families since the program's inception in 1990. There are currently 84 houses across the U.S. and Europe, with several more under construction. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites that include private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a dining room, and a living room. Since it began, the program has saved families an estimated $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).