Lumber Donated from the Rockefeller Center® Christmas Tree
Morris Habitat for Humanity will receive a unique gift from Tishman Speyer, the company that co-owns and operates Rockefeller Center®. This year the lumber milled from the 80th Rockefeller Center® Christmas Tree will be donated to help families in need of affordable housing. The 80-foot, 10-ton Norway spruce that came from a home in the Flanders section of Mount Olive, NJ, is “coming home” to provide building material for both the Morris Habitat for Humanity and the New York City affiliates.
To celebrate, and take a look at the tree before it was cut down, 55 supporters of Morris Habitat rode a bus into New York City. The large group from Morris Habitat gathered around the tree for a few photos and stayed in the city for dinner together, thanks to special arrangements and the generosity of New Jersey Natural Gas Company, a long-time supporter of Morris Habitat’s efforts, and the restaurant Cucina & Co. at Rockefeller Center®.
“Quite a lot of lumber can come out of that tree,” noted Blair Schleicher Bravo of Mountain Lakes, Executive Director of Morris Habitat. She added that “the tree will create 600 to 900 two-by-fours and will be used in five homes being built in 2013.” Two of those homes are in Mount Olive and three are in Madison.
Nancie Oakes Ludwig, a volunteer for Morris Habitat from Randolph, said that “an evening like this shows the real spirit of community and what it can mean to so many people. It is wonderful to know that the tree will come full circle.”
Yulia Savenkova, her 11-year-old son Igor and her mother, who were selected for the Mount Olive home currently under construction, excitedly joined the group into the city. Igor was thrilled, saying “it is a great honor to think that some of this tree will be in my new Morris Habitat home.”
For the past five years, Tishman Speyer has been donating the tree to the Habitat chapter in the area of its origin. The 2007 Rockefeller Center® Christmas Tree was first donated to Habitat for Humanity and was used in the construction of a Hurricane Katrina survivor’s home in Pascagoula, MS. Since then, the lumber has been used in the construction of homes in New York City; Stamford, Conn.; Newburgh, N.Y; and Philadelphia.
“We are grateful to Tishman Speyer for the generous donation of the Rockefeller Center® Christmas Tree for the sixth consecutive year,” said Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO. “The donation of lumber from the tree is a very special gift to our partner families and serves as a reminder that everyone can help in some way as Habitat seeks to build homes, communities and hope.”
Morris Habitat expects to receive the lumber in the spring and will be using it at several construction sites. Updates on the Christmas tree lumber will be added to the Hatakawana Terrace, Lozier Road and Strickland Place project web pages.