Here in her own words, our very own Cate Kitchen, City of Norcross Welcome Center Coordinator talks about how she was given the opportunity of a lifetime - decorating the White House for Christmas! Cate leaves on Thanksgiving Day, stop by The Welcome Center and wish her well.
My husband’s high school choir group was asked reunite this year to sing on Sunday Oct. 16th as part of the celebration of the 175th anniversary of Oak Grove United Methodist Church, which is located in northeastern Dekalb County, about 10 miles from Norcross. Their group practiced on the Saturday afternoon before, and enjoyed a barbeque together on Saturday evening. At the barbeque I talked to one of the choir members who now lives in Chicago, and we exchanged details on our backgrounds – he spoke of being an event planner in Chicago, and I talked about my job as the Welcome Center Coordinator for the City of Norcross.
I told him how much I have enjoyed putting together the various art and historical exhibits we have brought to the community, and he told me about working on events for Oprah Winfrey, and handling the decorating and planning for President Obama’s inauguration party and 50th birthday party. After a few more pleasantries, he popped a question - “I have a decorating assignment that I
think you could help me with – how would you like to go to Washington, DC for a
week to be part of the team that will be decorating the White House for
Christmas this year?” It was as simple as that!
At first, my jaw dropped and I didn’t think that he was serious. But, as we talked, he assured me that he was indeed serious, and gave me all of his contact information. Since then I have been contacted by his agency to give them my personal information needed for a security background check, and I’ve started planning for the trip - it is now only a few weeks until I leave! I am beyond excited about this honor! I realize that this is a once in a lifetime
opportunity to see the White House from the inside. I look forward to being surrounded by all of the history. I remember seeing a story on Good Morning America a few years ago where Laura Bush showed the various rooms that had been decorated with massive trees and gorgeous ornaments. I was struck by the grandeur of the rooms, and the thought that I am going to be standing (and working) in those very rooms seems surreal. I was told that on our last afternoon the First Lady throws the volunteers a reception/party. And that, possibly, I will be able to catch a glimpse of the President. As each day passes I become more acutely aware of what a wonderful opportunity this is for me.