tv [untitled] January 1, 2012 9:31am-10:01am PST
>> i am proud of of the place in which he lives. i would like to see a man live with his place to be proud of him. abraham lincoln. >> where liberty dwells, there is my country. benjamin franklin. >> ♪ my country tis of thee sweet land of liberty of thee i see land where my fathers died led freedom ring ring ring
to be free >> freedom has its life in the heart. the action, the spirit of men, dwight d. eisenhower. >> we stand for freedom. that is our conviction for ourselves. that is our only commitment to others. john f. kennedy. >> ♪ free free ♪ >> give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teaming shores, send these, your homeless, tempest tossed to me. i lift my lamp to the golden door.
my job can be challenging at times, but on and that light tonight, i feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be here, to support families in the event like this is truly fantastic. this is the greatest city in the world, the greatest parks department. thank you for joining us. 82 years ago, uncle john mclaren, our first park superintendent started the tradition of minding a mile- long of live trees at, to where he lived at the time. behind you is the official entry of san francisco, and it is called uncle john's tree. it is a monterey cypress that is 131 years old. it is over 100 feet tall.
it has over 700 lights. it took 8 rec and park tree toppers to light this up. let's give a big round of applause honoring john mclaren, who would be 160 today. 82 years later, our staff has continued the tradition, and i want to thank all of the park staff, recreation staff, tree toppers, electricians, structural maintenance crew. everyone had a plan in -- hand in planning this tonight. i want to make sure that everyone is applauded for the great job that they had done. [applause] i also want to thank the city family who is here tonight.
mayor ed lee. we will hear from him in a second. members of the board of supervisors, including supervisor farrell, supervisor elsbernd, supervisor wiener, i think supervisor mar is trying to park. supervisor mirkarimi is supposed to be here. i want to thank our fire chief joanne hayes white for being here today. i want to thank our police chief. our treasurer, jose cisneros our rec and park commissioners. [applause] ana and reid, fiona ma.
i also want to thank quickly our entertainers for the evening. we have had some incredible entertainment. the golden gate band. the hoover middle school jazz band. the birchen high-school drum corps. the young people music theater company. the george washington high school marching band. the brunos. press, circus -- presscot circus. i also want to thank our co-host for the evening, the newly formed parks alliance.
the parks department cannot do it alone. the alliance has really become our best friend. i want to recognize their board chair. our executive director matt o'grady will come up to say a few words. >> thank you so much. the parks alliance is the new kid on the block. a brand-new organization, and yet, a very familiar organization, because we come from the san francisco parks trust and from the neighborhood council. these two organizations got together and realize they can do so much more by combining forces to make this park system the best open space system in the world for san francisco. i wanted to give you a couple of samples of some of the great
partnerships we have built to make these parks so fabulous and gray in san francisco. the first partnership is with none other than the parks and recreation department. it is called the gear up program, where we have been tried to buy resources for our part centers citywide. that program has raised, from your generosity, more than $300,000 or reparations centers across the city. bravo and thank you for your generosity. i want to mention another partnership we have had running through the san francisco parks alliance. take another look at this enormous, beautiful tree. trees like this do not get that way on their own. it started from a tiny seed, and it grew to this beautiful majesty because of the love,
care, and feeding and care that was provided to victory over the last 130 years by our gardeners and arborists. every tree in every part in san francisco, every plant, the landscaping that makes our parks so beautiful, they are that beautiful because of the gardeners, landscape architects, and other professionals of the park staff that care for them every day and night, 365 days a year. where do our gardeners come from? i see a lot of young people here. some of you might be interested in learning how we can nurture them to make them so beautiful for us. we have a partnership with union local 261, who developed an apprenticeship program to teach young people how to be the best gardeners in the world so they could join the staff of the
recreation and parks department and provide a future for parks and gardeners here in the city. thank you to you, 261, and the other partners that have been so great with us. i want to form another new partnership here with all of you. you may not know this, but today is a very special person's birthday today. some of you may not know this, but i got my start as a musician, as a conductor. i have not done it in quite awhile, but i will conduct all of you to sing happy birthday to none other than our own phil ginsburg, who is 45 today. please join me. >> ♪ happy birthday to you have a birthday to you
happy birthday, dear phil happy birthday to you ♪ [applause] >> thank you. all i want for my birthday is 50 more gardeners. all right. let's bring up our parks champion. he is everywhere in the parks system. he is playing ping pong in the square, playing ball, in golden gate park, he is everywhere. ladies and gentlemen, our mayor, ed lee. >> thank you. i thought all you want it was her two front teeth? thank you very much for coming. it is wonderful to see so many families here together.
this is the season where we celebrate with our family and kids. i cannot think of any place more wonderful to be than this 130- year cyprus to share with you the lighting of this wonderful tree. i want to thank our department representatives, city official family, elected officials. i also want to let you know, i came here last year. we saw painted on the side of this train, the world series chickenshit emblem. this year, we have our san francisco fire engine. -- championship emblem. a wonderful tribute to our fire department. i want to thank the chief for coming here tonight, for helping
us with the toy drive, and for bringing a special guest. santa is here tonight, a special guest from our fire department. he is coming. i also want to let you know, in addition to tonight, on the weekend of december 17, 18, rec and park, city hall, all of our city officials, want to welcome you to the civic center. we are going to have a snow village, snow for all of you to play in. come in on saturday and sunday, the 17th and 18th. then on the 18th, we will open city hall, and you can take pictures with your family.
city hall will be open from 11:00 until 4:00 p.m. that afternoon. please come in to join us for the holiday season. thank you. with that, are we ready? everybody stand up. how about a countdown beginning with 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. [applause] happy holidays, everybody. >> if you listen very carefully, you are going to hear coming down the streets -- i think santa is coming, mr.