NEW YORK, Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity for the fourth consecutive year to help build a simple, decent and affordable home.
After the holiday season, the 78th annual Christmas Tree will be milled into lumber in Rockefeller Plaza. The lumber will be used for the framing of exterior walls of a home built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, located in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York, near the community of Mahopac where the tree grew.
"We are extremely pleased and grateful to Tishman Speyer for this donation," said Marci Gurton, Director of Development, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh. "This lumber is so valuable because it will help a hard-working family in need of decent housing to own their own home. The special nature of this gift also raises awareness about the critical need for affordable housing in our community and the ongoing efforts for neighborhood revitalization."
Habitat Newburgh focuses its work in the east end of the city, improving the area street-by-street by renovating abandoned houses and building new homes in partnership with low-income families. Newburgh is one of the most distressed urban areas in the country. To date, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh has built or rehabilitated 43 houses that 225 children and adults now call home and has added more than $8.3 million to assessed property values.
"The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a symbol of the holiday season for millions of people across the country and around the world," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "Habitat for Humanity is both humbled and proud to have an ongoing role in this great tradition, and with the help of volunteers, we will see that the lumber is put to good use to bring hope to a family in the form of better housing."
"We are delighted to donate the lumber from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Habitat for Humanity for the fourth consecutive year," said Thomas Madden, Managing Director, Tishman Speyer. "During the holiday season thousands of people from around the world come to visit Rockefeller Center to view the tree and we are proud to see this holiday symbol live on and continue to bring joy to a deserving family in Newburgh."
Habitat used the 2007 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lumber to help build a home in Pascagoula, Miss., in partnership with a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Lumber from the 2008 tree was used to help build shelving in a multi-unit building constructed by Habitat for Humanity – New York City. The 2009 Rockefeller Christmas tree lumber was used in the construction of a home in Stamford, Conn.
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 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit Habitat.org.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh builds homes and community in Newburgh, New York, a small city on the Hudson River about 60 miles north of New York City. Habitat Newburgh is dedicated to providing decent, affordable housing in partnership with local, hard-working families in need. Reaching across religious, cultural, and racial boundaries, we seek to restore a sense of community with the common goal of strong neighborhoods and dignity through homeownership.
About Tishman Speyer
Tishman Speyer is the co-owner and manager of Rockefeller Center, the world-famous real estate, shopping and dining complex in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Rockefeller Center is the site of numerous public exhibits and events, including large-scale installations of public art by world-renowned artists including Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons and Jonathan Borofsky. Tishman Speyer has earned a worldwide reputation for innovative utilization of public art in its signature commercial properties, which include Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Center. Tishman Speyer is committed to the preservation and restoration of Rockefeller Center and the historic Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center, one of New York's top attractions. Each day an estimated 350,000 people visit the Rockefeller Plaza complex, which during the holidays is home to the most famous Christmas Tree in the world.
SOURCE Habitat for Humanity International