Chinese Embassy Is Site for Points of Light Tribute Awards Gala

Honorees Include Yao Ming, HP, World Central Kitchen, Charles Orgbon

Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2014 – The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Washington, D.C., will be the stunning venue for the 2014 Tribute Awards given by Points of Light, the nonpartisan, global volunteer organization created by President George H. W. Bush.

Ambassador H.E. Cui Tiankai of the People’s Republic of China and Mr. and Mrs. Neil M. Bush will co-host the event, which will be held on Wednesday, October 22 at the embassy, 3505 International Place, N.W. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the dinner and program at 7:30 p.m.

Retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, a key U.S. security advisor to a succession of presidents and a winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Yue-Sai Kan, a Chinese American Emmy-winning television host and producer whom People magazine called “the most famous woman in China,” are honorary co-chairs.

“My father cares so deeply about the promotion of volunteer service and the promotion of closer ties to China,” said Neil Bush, chair of Points of Light. “Being able to celebrate volunteerism in this building is such a tribute to his life and legacy.”

“Volunteerism is universal and it is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture,” said Ambassador Cui. “Points of Light has inspired the Chinese people to find more and better ways to help others. HandsOn China, one rapidly growing part of Points of Light, is now actively involved with volunteer services in China. I am confident that it will play an even more active role in the years to come.”

Points of Light’s Greater China affiliates are located in Beijing, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Shanghai. Together they mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers each year who contribute their time to help meet community needs.

Specials guests include former New York Gov. George Pataki; Fox News Channel host of “On The Record,” Greta Van Susteren; Mary Kate Cary, executive producer of “41ON41,” a documentary film about George H. W. Bush; Mack McLarty, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton; NBA basketball great Dikembe Mutombo, who played college ball at Georgetown; and Ming Tsai, Ming Tsai, celebrity chef, author and host of PBS TV's “Simply Ming.”

Music prodigy Justin Yu, an 8-year-old cellist who is the son of Chinese composer and conductor Ziliang and Korean pianist Rho Aera, will entertain. Justin has already played Carnegie Hall twice.

Tribute Awards winners to be honored for their volunteer and philanthropic work are:

  • Retired professional basketball player Yao Ming who played with the NBA’s Houston Rockets.  Mr. Yao’s foundation seeks to improve the lives of children in China and the U.S., with an emphasis on providing educational opportunities.   Mr. Mutombo will accept the award on behalf of Mr. Yao.
  • Hewett-Packard -- In 2013 alone, 40,000 HP employees in 82 countries logged more than 1.6 million volunteer hours and, with the help of matching donations from HP, gave more than $13.3 million to nonprofits and schools through cash and product donations.
  • Environmentalist Charles Orgbon III, 18, of Atlanta, who started a club at age 12 to keep his school clean, then turned it into Greening Forward, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a diverse global environmental movement powered by young people.
  • World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization founded by international chef José Andrés that feeds and empowers vulnerable people in humanitarian crises around the world.

Guests will have the opportunity to bid on several auction items, including a flag that was flown aboard the USS George H. W. Bush (CNV 77) on June 19, 2013 in support of operation “Freedom At Work” and the pair of socks President Bush wore while skydiving on his 90th birthday.

The event’s sponsors include Altria, the China International Intellectech Corporation, Victor and Patricia Ganzi, The Starr Foundation, the UPS Foundation, AccuWeather, Ray Chambers and Wally Ganzi.

The media is invited to the awards dinner and must reserve for the event by e-mailing JStaihar@comcast.net. For media questions, call 202-797-7373 or mobile 202-494-2490. Pre-registration is mandatory for entrance to the embassy.

About Points of Light

Points of Light – the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities in 30 countries, and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year.

Points of Light was established in 1990 after President Bush’s inaugural address evoked the vision of a “thousand points of light” and a call to action for all to commit to service in their own communities.