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Annual State Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Department of Developmental Services joined Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown as they kicked off the 83rd Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. Kimie Metcalf was introduced to the audience by First Lady Brown and spoke eloquently about who she was and how the Department's and Inland Regional Services helped her grown strong and overcome her medical and physical challenges. She then helped the Governor "flip the switch" and posed for pictures with her mother Kristine, the Governor and First Lady, Undersecretary Michael Wilkening, Director Santi Rogers, DDS staff, Inland Regional Center (IRC) Executive Director Carol Fitzgibbons and IRC Board President Mary Beth Feild, Vice President Keith Nelson and Program Manager Marilee Gribbon.
Kimie Metcalf of Chino, California, was chosen to help the Governor and First Lady light the tree and hang a special ornament created by a person with a developmental disability. Kimie (age 9), is a survivor of a rare form of leukemia, and receives services for cerebral palsy from Inland Regional Center. This is the 32nd year that a child with a developmental disability will participated in the ceremony. The tree is beautifully decorated with 10,000 ultra-low wattage LED lights and 900 hand-crafted festive ornaments made by children and adults with developmental disabilities who receive supports and services from the state's developmental centers and 21 nonprofit regional centers.