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Boys Town kids design ornaments to hang at White House trees

North Florida Ornament

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​Ornaments by a local Florida organization will dazzle President's Park (White House) in Washington, D.C. as part of the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting display. The children at Boys Town North Florida in Tallahassee designed ornaments at ART Town that showcase the beautiful, tropical waters that surround the majority of the state, with swirls of blue, gold, green and white, and garnishes made from shells and stones. 

The handcrafted ornaments will adorn one of 56 trees representing each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia from Dec.1 through Jan.1, 2018 as part of the America Celebrates display. 

"It made me feel happy to be selected to decorate my home state tree because people think kids in the system can't have fun," said Sha'Nautica Cody, 17-year-old youth at Boys Town North Florida. "At Boys Town, we get together, have fun and forget about that. I am proud to be an American and proud I can help celebrate the holidays in the capital city."

Art, Resources, Training (ART) Town is a Boys Town North Florida program that provides unique, innovative ways to deliver life-changing services to more children and families in the Tallahassee community. This program focuses on restorative care that can assist children and families with personal growth in a welcoming, therapeutic environment.

Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is one of America's oldest holiday traditions. The first lighting took place 95 years ago on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse. Since 1923, each succeeding president has carried on the tradition. 

For more event information and updates, please visit and follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2017. Through a partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, Hallmark Channel will exclusively broadcast the National Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 4.​