When Shirley Figueroa lived in another town just two years go, she took care of a tree she hoped would become the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
She and wife Lissette Gutierrez bought a house in Wallkill and that dream ended. At closing, when the previous homeowners said Rockefeller officials were interested in a tree on the property, Figueroa thought it was a joke.
Gutierrez had heard her talk about the tree at the old house.
"I'm still in shock and I have all these mixed emotions going on. [I do feel sadness because] she's such a beautiful tree and she took up so much space. It's going to be empty here without her," said the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree donator.
The property owners are sad to see the tree leave, but happy it will go towards an honored tradtion, then repurposed into building materials for local homes through Habitat For Humanity.
It will take two days to get the tree to New York City. The couple will be at Rockefeller Center when the tree is put up, and for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 28.