Local woman chosen to help decorate White House

BATAVIA, Ill. (AP) - A Batavia floral designer was among 89 volunteers chosen this year to decorate the White House.

Mary Mazzeffi applied for six years or more to be chosen for the task. The 53-year-old has been arranging flowers since she was 15. She told the Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/1HL4TpX ) that the White House experience was "surreal."

Mazzeffi works for Toms-Price Furniture and Nona Jo's home accessory boutique in Naperville.

First lady Michelle Obama declared this year's theme "A Timeless Tradition" with display items such as an 18th Century Italian crèche and old-time nutcrackers.

There are 62 trees. One 18 ½-foot Fraser fir from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, adorns the Blue Room. A three-foot tree Mazzeffi trimmed was bound for "Mr. Obama's elevator."

Officials expect more than 68,000 holiday visitors to the White House.

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