Congratulations to Isabella Gerard, a 5th grade student from Boise, who has been selected to “flip the switch” that will light the 2016 #CapitolChristmasTree!

Isabella Gerard, a fifth-grade student at Boise’s St. Mary’s Catholic School, was chosen to help light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.

Isabella was among some 200 other Idaho children who submitted entries to a contest held by Sens. Crapo and Jim Risch. Isabella’s entry, a poem titled “Pristine Idaho Mountains,” was chosen at random. Her poem is based on personal experiences she has had while enjoying nature in the Payette National Forest.

She will fly to Washington, D.C., with her parents, Annalyn and Josh Gerard, to join Crapo and House Speaker Paul Ryan to push the button that lights the national tree, cut this year from Idaho’s Payette National Forest. The ceremony, which traditionally includes a child from the state providing the tree, will take place Dec. 6.

Watch Isabella’s surprise announcement and visit from Senator Crapo.

Here is Isabella’s winning poem:

"Idaho is blessed with beautiful mountains and immense forests.

In the winter the mountains and forests are covered with snow,

making the landscape look like never ending clouds with skyscrapers covered in snow.

Big tall trees.

Beautiful to look at.

Amazing to see.

Pristine mountains.

As I sit in the forest I find peace.

As the wind blows through the tall ponderosa pines I feel a sense of solitude and peacefulness.

To someone that has never been in an Idaho forest, it is hard to understand the size and beauty.

If only you could be here looking at these beautiful Idaho scenes."