Out of 1,381 entries from across Colorado, the White River National Forest and its nonprofit partner, Choose Outdoors, are pleased to announce Ryan Shuster as the winner of the contest to light the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.
On October 19, Santa & Mrs. Claus visited the Blanco Ranger District Office of the White River National Forest. It was during this visit that Santa randomly drew Ryan’s entry.
Seventeen-year old Ryan Shuster is a senior at Discovery Canyon Campus in Colorado Springs. Besides his love of the outdoors, Ryan was a finalist in the El Paso County science fair in 2006 and earned a number of awards in piano and music theory starting in 2007. In 2010 Ryan earned the rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America and was selected for the Colorado High School State choir in 2011. Ryan’s interests include theater, music and nature which are likely to be included in his field study for college in the coming year.
Ryan said, “It is an honor to be selected as the student lighting the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. On behalf of all of the students who participated in the ornament submission program, I want to thank the White River National Forest and Choose Outdoors for this exciting opportunity.”
All youth ages 5-19 who submitted ornaments for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree were eligible to enter a drawing to win a trip to the nation’s capital to light the tree with Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner at the lighting ceremony in early December.
Ryan will travel to Washington, D.C. with his parents for the honor of flipping the switch to officially light the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in early December.