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Montana Boy to Light Capitol Christmas Tree from Kootenai Forest

Bozeman sixth-grader who lost fingers on right hand will travel to D.C. for ceremony

A sixth-grader from Montana will light the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree from the state during the annual holiday ceremony.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester announced Tuesday that Ridley Brandmayr (BRAND’-may-er) of Bozeman will hit the switch Dec. 6 on the tree from the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana.

A statement from Tester’s office said the 11-year-old lost all the fingers on his right hand in an accident earlier this year but has continued to swim and play music. Tester, a former music teacher, lost three fingers on his left hand as a child.

The 79-foot Engelmann Spruce will be cut down on Nov. 8 and will stop in Montana, North Dakota, Missouri and Kentucky on its 3,000-mile journey to Washington.

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