Text to Plant a Tree During Rockefeller Ceremony

NBC Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation are working together to promote "Text For Your Tree"

By Julie Kim
|  Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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Last year marked the 75th annual tree lighting ceremony and was attended by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Al Roker, Tony Bennett and Jerry I. Speyer.

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NBC Universal has made planting trees happen at the push of a button -- the “send” button to be more exact.

For the 77th Annual Rockefeller tree lighting ceremony, NBC Universal, through its “Green is Universal initiative” is working with the Arbor Day Foundation to help plant 500,000 trees.

During the Wednesday evening broadcast of the Annual Live Holiday Celebration, viewers will be prompted to text NBCU to have a tree planted on their behalf.

The Arbor Day Foundation will be planting the text requested trees -- with the hopes of reaching 500,000 new trees.

The “Text For Your Tree” promotion will also be available online at both www.arborday.org and www.greenisuniversal.com.

The Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin around 6:45pm and the tree lightening will take place at 8:55pm sharp.

The tradition began as a way to lighten up spirits during the Great Depression. The first tree, decked with 700 lights, was erected in 1933 in front of the RCA Building, now the GE Building. The ceremony was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond.

Today, the 76-foot Norway spruce from the Easton, Conn. home of fifth-grade teacher Maria Corti stands patiently awaiting in its darkened 30,000 multicolored light bulb gown and Swarovski crystallized star crown.

Jane Krakowski, who stars as Jenna Maroney on “30 Rock” and Zachary Levi, the star of “Chuck” will host the 2009 Rockefeller tree lighting extravaganza.

Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, The Roots, Shakira and The Radio City Rockettes will warm up the crowd with a mix of current hits and holiday classics from the beautifully ornamented stages around Rockefeller Center in New York City.
 

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