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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 in celebrating the holiday season at the 84th Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting at the State Capitol. Jeffrey "J.J." Paris (age 9), of Sonora, CA, was chosen by Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC) in Stockton to help the Governor and First Lady light the tree and hang a special ornament created by a person with a developmental disability. J.J. represents over 290,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services and supports from the state developmental centers and 21 non-profit regional centers. J.J. began showing signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at age two, and began receiving services and supports through VMRC. He developed Tourette syndrome in 2015, however that has not slowed down this incredible boy. J.J. has a keen sense of humor, loves school, taking care of his family's pets, Kung Fu, golf, camping and kayaking. He was very excited to meet the Governor and light the beautiful Capitol tree with his family, friends in front of a cheering audience. J.J. was accompanied to Sacramento by his parents, Maren and Jeff, sister Sonny and brother Austin, and grandparents. Please read more about J.J. Paris in the biography posted on this page. Please join DDS and VMRC in congratulating J.J. Paris of Sonora on being named the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighter!