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The 2009 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree returns to Connecticut to become part of a Habitat for Humanity home

NEW YORK CITY (Jan. 8, 2010) – After bringing joy to thousands in New York City this holiday season, Rockefeller Center’s iconic Christmas tree will help a Connecticut family realize the dream of home ownership.

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The 76-foot spruce was donated by a family in Easton, Connecticut, to serve as the 77th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The wood was milled today and turned into lumber that will become part of a Habitat for Humanity home in nearby Stamford, Conn. This is the third year Tishman Speyer, the company that owns Rockefeller Center, has donated the tree to Habitat for Humanity.

“The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a big part of our nation’s holiday tradition, and this partnership with Tishman Speyer is a wonderful way to bring attention to the need for affordable housing worldwide,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are grateful that the tree will continue to have a lasting, positive impact on a Habitat family for years to come.”

The lumber from the tree will be used by Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County to help build a home in partnership with the Bowie family. Iveth Bowie has always dreamed of owning instead of renting a home in order to give her family more stability. With the help of Habitat for Humanity, Bowie and her children will experience the pride of a simple, decent and affordable place to call home.

“The Bowie family is thrilled to see their dream of homeownership come true,” said Ken Paul, chair of Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County. “The use of lumber from the Rockefeller tree is truly a wonderful gift.”

“We are pleased to once again donate the lumber from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Habitat for Humanity,” said Thomas Madden, managing director, Tishman Speyer. “We are committed to the environment and are proud the tree’s lumber will live on in the new home of a Habitat family.”

The 2007 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was used to help build a Habitat house in Mississippi, and the 2008 tree was used in Habitat homes in New York City.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.