Wishes written on thousands of origami cranes to be unveiled at 'World Tree of Hope'

Origami cranes and silver stars filled with holiday wishes from around the world will decorate the “World Tree of Hope” that is being unveiled this evening at San Francisco City Hall.

The unveiling of the tree covered in thousands of pieces of paper with wishes written on them and folded into cranes and stars begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Rotunda.

The San Francisco Boys Chorus will perform before a celebration with the consul general of Japan, Masato Watanabe, during which he will present a peace crane to Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials.

Keynote speakers Clarence Jones, who was Martin Luther King Jr.'s attorney and speechwriter, and author Anne Lamott will address the crowd celebrating the upcoming start of a new year.

The origami pieces were folded by a large group of volunteers including those from the local LGBT and Japanese-American community, along with prisoners from San Quentin State Prison.

The 21-foot-tall tree is decorated with about 12,000 of the hand-folded cranes and stars and inscribed with wishes for the future of the world, organizers said.

Wishes can be added to the tree throughout this month to join the notes from President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, author Danielle Steele, actors Courtney Cox and David Arquette, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom, along with local schoolchildren and many others.

The tree is a project organized by the San Francisco-based Rainbow World Fund, a humanitarian aid organization.

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