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Rock Springs man invited to help decorate White House for Christmas

ROCK SPRINGS — With several other volunteers from around the United States, Rock Springs resident Chad Banks has been invited to decorate the White House in Washington D.C.

According to Banks, each year, the White House asks for volunteers. They receive thousands of applications. Banks signed up for it in August.

“I’m incredibly excited,” Banks said. “It’s been on my bucket list forever and my daughters were really supportive and excited too! None of us could believe I was chosen.”

“Each Christmas, I look forward to watching the White House Christmas special on HGTV with my kids,” he said. “We love watching the decorations, themes, etc., so it’s always been a dream to be able to help.”

Receiving junk e-mail is so common these days that when Banks received a few messages from MBX WHO, he disregarded it since he didn’t recognize the name.

“A week ago, I logged onto my email and had seen their last message,” Banks explained. “They informed me that I needed to disregard their previous emails and that I was, in fact, selected to help decorate.”

Since volunteers are asked to provide some experience, Banks listed his event management experience, which has been over 20 years, everything from small events to huge events such as the Sweetwater County Fair.

Banks said that there were two options to volunteer. The first is three days before Thanksgiving, off-site.

“As bad as this sounds, that didn’t interest me,” Banks chuckled. “I wanted to do the actual work in the White House, so I signed up for the second time frame, which is Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27.”

Banks got his wish.

He was scheduled to fly out on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24.

Volunteers are responsible for their own travel and accommodations. The White House works with a nearby hotel for a special room rate, though.

Banks and the volunteers will be at the White House all three days, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We’ll be given special assignments and spaces to help with, but of course, the themes and decorations will have to be determined by the White House so we’re really doing the ‘grunt’ work,” he said.

Banks visited the White House in June to celebrate Pride Month with leaders and members of the LGBTQ communities from around the country.

“It was clearly much different as the President spoke and I met LGBTQ+ folks from around the U.S,” he said. “It was also amazing to be in the White House and in the spaces we see on TV. There was food, music, drinks and all kinds of stuff. I spent three days there then so I spent time seeing monuments and other areas. It was also a fast trip, but I hit a few highlights.

“This trip will also be fast, but different. I’ll spend all of my time, except evenings, at the White House decorating, so I won’t have much time to sight see.”

This story was published on Nov. 19, 2022.

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