Bound for the Gover­nor's Man­sion

Res­i­dent to do­nate tree for Christ­mas cer­e­mony

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­news.com

In 1980, JoAnn Sims dug up a 1-foot pine tree from the for­est and moved it to a pot. Thirty years later, the tree is nearly twice as tall as her house and will soon find it­self in front of the Gover­nor’s Man­sion, where it will play a part in the an­nual state tree light­ing cer­e­mony.

“It’s the thrill of my life. I never thought that would hap­pen. I’m happy for it to be shown some­where. It’s pretty sit­ting here, but I’ll never be able to dec­o­rate it,” Sims said. “Though, I’ll prob­a­bly cry when it comes down.”

Sims, who lives on Ga. High­way 142 North, said she saw the cer­e­mony last year and thought her tree was wor­thy of be­ing in­cluded, so she called the

Ge­or­gia Build­ing Author­ity and of­fered to do­nate her tree. The group came out and ex­am­ined it and told her they would be happy to have it. The tree will be cut down the day be­fore Thanks­giv­ing.

Build­ing author­ity spokes­woman Katy Pandow said ev­ery year res­i­dents do­nate trees to be placed at the cap­i­tal and at the gover­nor’s man­sion. While sev­eral trees are placed in­side the man­sion, Pandow said Sims’ large tree will be given the place of honor in front of the gover­nor’s home.

The tree light­ing cer­e­mony will be held at the man­sion, 391 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. in At­lanta, at 6:30 p.m. Sun­day, Dec. 5. The man­sion will be open for pub­lic tours Dec. 6-17. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mon­day-Fri­day, 10

Gabriel Khouli/The Cov­ing­ton News

Get­ting ready to move: JoAnn Sims and her son, Tim, stand in front of the tree that will be dec­o­rated and lit at the Gover­nor's Man­sion in De­cem­ber.

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