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  • José Luis Villegas /

    Sutter Brown barks as the gallery applauds at the Christmas tree lighting on Thursday evening at the State Capitol.

  • José Luis Villegas /

    Angel Valencia-Ceja, 8 and his mother, Rosa Valencia of Vallejo, wave as they are acknowledged by the gallery.

Capitol’s tree ceremony sparkles – and barks – in special seasonal tribute

Published: Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am

Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust-Brown, above, accompanied by their dog Sutter, hang an ornament on the state’s Christmas tree with Angel Valencia-Ceja, 8, of Vallejo, at Thursday night’s lighting ceremony.

Valencia-Ceja, at left with mother Rosa Valencia, suffers from a congenital heart disease known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was selected to light the tree and to hang a special ornament, according to a press release from the Department of Developmental Services.

Velancia-Ceja is the 31st child with a developmental disability chosen to participate in the annual ceremony.

The 55-foot-tall red fir came from the Latour Demonstration State Forest in Shasta County, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Children and adults with developmental disabilities handcrafted the 500 ornaments adorning the tree.

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