RI woman decorates White House - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

RI woman decorates White House

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By Dana Griffin

dgrffin@abc6.com

MIDDLETOWN, RI- Every year, up to two representatives from each state are chosen to adorn the White House for Christmas.

66–year–old Jean Conwell of Middletown applied online and was the only one to represent the ocean state.

Conwell said, "We were given a special apron and a special security badge."

83 volunteers helped deck those halls; divided into teams for every public room.

"I was in a very exciting room because that's where they brought in the gingerbread. They always do a White House duplicate of the gingerbread; it was phenomenal," said Conwell.

Conwell spent the first two days in an undisclosed warehouse, prepping decorations; then, five days in the state dining room.

"And then thrilling to me, the President walked in one day and they said he had never done that before.  So, I got to shake his hand. I got to meet the dog," said Conwell.

The White House is filled with 24 Christmas trees, 450 books, 1,000 yards of satin ribbon, and 80% of the ornaments are used from previous years.

On one tree, Conwell even found a piece of home.

"It took me awhile but I did find Rhode Island," said Conwell.

70,000 people are expected visit the White House this holiday season.

Conwell hopes she can do it again next year.

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