Sunday, December 28, 2014

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Hudson Valley

A family's 40-foot-tall present to the Capitol

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Albany/HV: Loudonville family donates tree for East Capitol Park
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The holidays are almost upon us, and 'tis the season to give. So, as our Megan Cruz reports, a Loudonville family said goodbye to a family friend to spread some holiday cheer.

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. -- It's a busy morning at the Millspaugh home. It's usually just Grace and Denis, but on Thursday, they had some visitors. Three of their seven children stopped by with several of their grandkids to say goodbye to a family friend.

"Got a lot of emotional attachment to it," said Grace Kivlin. "Sounds kind of weird talking about a tree that way, but it does."

When Kivlin bought this Rachlin Lane home back in 1976, the tree was as tall as her. Not anymore. She says the tree's grown with her family.

"We've tied yellow ribbons around it for my son and sons-in-law when they've been in Iraq and Afghanistan, all the banners for graduations, for babies coming home," she said.

That's why on Thursday, those babies couldn't help but cry about the tree's last day here on Rachlin Lane.

"We had so much memories, and now it's going to get gone," said Kivlin's grandson Gerard Cantaino.

"Had so many memories, like Easter egg hunts," said granddaughter Joan Thomas.

"We used to play tag around it," said Kassidy Flayter, another granddaughter.

"It's been there our whole lives," said granddaughter Alyzabeth Bridgham.

The tree's new home will be East Capitol Park. It was chosen to be one of two trees in the annual New York State Tree Lighting and Fireworks event on December 2nd.

"At least it's going out honorably, in a big blaze of glory with lots of lights on it," said Kivlin. "So that kind of takes the sting out of it."

After all, it is the season of giving. And the family's giving up a lot.

"I'm happy because other people are going to get to see it," said Grace Flayter, another of Kivlin's granddaughters.

"People are going to get to watch it light up," said grandson Leland Thomas.

"I hope everybody enjoys it as much as we did," said Kivlin's daughter Claudia Flayter.

The family plans to attend the tree lighting on the 2nd. They say to see everyone smile when their tree is lit up with thousands of lights will make their now bare lawn worth it.

As for the other tree for the ceremony, that one will come from Latham. Owner Lise Poole says the story there is about a misshapen, ugly duckling of a tree that turned beautiful. It'll be cut down Friday and displayed in the Empire State Plaza.

The other one is a tree from Latham. Owner Lise Poole says that's a story of an ugly duckling, sort of misshapen tree turn beautiful with a lot of love and care. That will be cut down tomorrow and be displayed in the Empire State Plaza. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP