Callaway woman chosen to help decorate White House for holidays

Local News

CALLAWAY, Fla. (WMBB) — A Callaway couple is heading to the White House to get the capitol building ready for the Christmas holiday.

Shirley Whittle owned Callaway Country Florist for 32-years before Hurricane Michael ripped it apart.

Since then, Whittle is only doing arrangements by request.

In the midst of rebuilding her home and finding another location for her business, an email caught her attention.

“The application said we’d like to invite you to the White House and help decorate if you would accept. I thought it was spam, like no I don’t believe this,” Whittle said.

After doing her research, Whittle says she realized the offer was legit. She and about 99 others across the country were selected to be a White House Holiday Decorating Volunteer.

“We go up and take whatever they have planned. Mrs. Trump has already picked the idea of what she wants and we go put it together for her,” Whittle said.

While she never thought she’d ever get a chance to work inside the nation’s capital, she’s always admired the work done.

“I mean I’ve always been interested in their decorations, I’ve always looked at them, I’ve always studied them and thinking what it would take to put them together and then in my face here it is. I just can’t imagine what it’s going to take to put them together,” Whittle said.

Whittle and her husband, Buddy, are heading north on Thanksgiving Day and will be there until at least Monday. She says they will work from about six in the morning to five in the evening each day.

The confirmation came in last Friday and Whittle says, that was no coincidence to her.

“They delayed the sending out so I thought, we weren’t going to get it so I pushed it off. I guess then it came in and it came in on my dad’s birthday and he’s been gone just over a year so I jokingly made a comment that maybe daddy had something to do with it,” Whittle said.

To be selected for the job, one must apply or be nominated. Whittle said she did neither and still don’t know who put her name in the running.

Either way, she says she owes this opportunity to her dad and the mystery person who nominated her.

“All I can do is thank him for it and whoever did it, whoever put the word in for me, thank you because it’s an honor,” Whittle said.

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