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Thank you for a wonderful Tree Trim Program! We would like to thank all of the people involved with this year's Tree Trim Ceremony.
The large lighted wreath was made possible by the Friends of the Archives. The six lighted small trees (representing K-5 grades) and one large State House tree were graciously donated by the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association. An event of this magnitude, of course, would not be possible without all of the volunteer help from many organizations. We are sincerely grateful to all who assisted us in making this a wonderful time for so many.
This year, for the first time, the children took home with them the ornaments they made at interactive ornament stations. We were prompted to make this change by a little boy who looked at me last year and said, "I don't want to put my ornament on the tree. I want to take it home." Our hope with this new activity is that we were able to give them something tangible to take home to remember this fun-filled holiday experience.
We would like to extend thanks to the generous people whose donations helped us purchase supplies for more than 300 children ranging from Grades K-5 to make their very own ornaments.
As a ceremony finale at this year's tree trim program, the small trees were lighted by individual students representing each grade level. The large tree, adorned with ornaments donated by historical societies from all over the state was lighted by the Governor and myself. Other traditions, such as a visit from Santa, the Governor reading Twas the Night Before Christmas and holiday music sung by Hoosier high school students, as in years past, were enjoyed by all.
My best wishes for a blessed Holiday Season for you and your family.
First Lady of Indiana
Karen Pence has been a school teacher for more than 25 years. As First Lady, Karen continues her passion for educating children by traveling the state visiting schools. She thoroughly enjoys shining the spotlight on our amazing schools in Indiana.
Mrs. Pence is an artist and small business owner. Her specialty is watercolors of homes and historical buildings. Mrs. Pence is honorary chair of the Art Therapy Initiative at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis as well as a member of Riley Children’s Foundation Board. She also serves as a board member for Tracy's Kids, an art therapy program for several children's hospitals in Washington, D.C. She is excited to be filling her office with art work created by students from all over the state.
In addition to traveling the state, Mrs. Pence is honored to have been named the official Bicentennial Ambassador by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. In this position, she will play a key role in celebrating Indiana’s 200th birthday in 2016.
In her role as First Lady, Mrs. Pence created the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation. The Foundation, organized in August of 2013, is a 501 (c)3 whose purpose is to encourage and support youth and families of Indiana. The beneficiaries include individuals, schools, communities, families, family support organizations, along with arts organizations. The Foundation was created to foster an even better understanding of and love for the state of Indiana, while encouraging and supporting Hoosiers wanting to be better citizens. The Foundation’s board plans to spotlight these types of individuals and organizations through scholarships, awards, and grants.
Mrs. Pence earned a B.S. and M.S. in Elementary Education from Butler University. She and Governor Mike Pence have been married since 1985 and have three college aged children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.