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All Former Living Presidents Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs to Help Recognize Extraordinary Acts of Service at George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Gala
Garth Brooks to Receive Inaugural George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award for Caring and Compassion; co-founder and executive director of MEANS Database, Maria Rose Belding; and 12-year-old founder of Khloe Kares, Khloe Thompson also to be honored
NEW YORK (Sept. 26, 2019) – Today, Points of Light, a global nonprofit dedicated to accelerating people-powered change, will host The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Gala at the historic Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. Nearly one year since the passing of its founder, President George H.W. Bush, Points of Light will bring together dignitaries from politics, business, entertainment and philanthropy to honor the late president’s legacy of volunteerism by celebrating individuals who demonstrate the transformative power of service and are driving significant and sustained impact. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are serving as honorary chairs for the inaugural Awards Gala.
President George H.W. Bush believed deeply in bringing attention to the thousands of “points of light” around the world who improve their communities one small act at a time. The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards identify and lift up outstanding examples of individuals advancing solutions to societal problems around the globe while exemplifying the traits of President Bush: integrity, empathy, respect, optimism, conviction in the face of opposition, and belief in the power of the human spirit to create positive change.
“It is our honor to recognize these individuals tonight – their dedication to improving the world is at the core of what Points of Light stands for, which is to connect individuals to their communities with purpose and compassion,” said Natalye Paquin, president and CEO of Points of Light. “Our founder would be incredibly proud of their work, and this award is a way to honor his lifelong commitment to serving others.”
About Garth Brooks: Garth Brooks will receive The Inaugural George H.W. Bush Award for Caring and Compassion. In 1999, Brooks co-founded the Teammates for Kids Foundation with the mission of giving all kids, all around the world, an even start. Teammates for Kids is funded by professional athletes who generously donate based on performance levels in their sport. To date, the foundation has grown to include nearly 5,000 professional athletes to generate funds for children’s charities, focusing on children’s health, education, and inner-city outreach, and through building Child Life Zones, supporting youth athletic programs, and funding life-saving surgeries.
Alongside wife Trisha Yearwood, Brooks has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for more than a decade. Most recently, in August 2018, Brooks and Yearwood spent a week working with a crew to help build 41 homes in the community of Mishawaka, Indiana, at the 35th Annual Habitat for Humanity Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project.
About Maria Rose Belding: Inspired by her experiences as a food pantry volunteer, Maria Rose Belding created the MEANS Database as a freshman at American University. The innovative nonprofit has rerouted more than 2.2 million pounds of excess food to communities in need across the United States, getting it into the hands of hungry people instead of into the trash. Her dedication to fighting food insecurity has earned her recognition from L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth, Starbucks Upstanders, and CNN Heroes, among others.
About Khloe Thompson: Khloe Thompson was just 8 years old when she was inspired to start Khloe Kares to address the issue homelessness in her Los Angeles community. Now 12 years old, Thompson has distributed more than 5,000 handmade “Kare Bags” filled with socks, underwear, and a two- to three-month supply of toiletries and other necessities. She is equally passionate about inspiring other kids to create change, proving that there is no age limit on the impact an individual can have in their community, and around the world.
Tonight’s program will feature videos of and remarks from all three honorees, as well as Natalye Paquin, Points of Light president and CEO, Lauren Bush Lauren, gala co-chair and founder and CEO of FEED, and Neil Bush, board chairman for Points of Light. The evening will open and close with performances by the Yale Whiffenpoofs, a nod to President Bush’s alma mater, and The Beach Boys. The program will be livestreamed via a partnership with YouTube and Facebook Watch, which can be viewed on Points of Light’s website.
To view the livestream and for more information on The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Gala, please visit www.pointsoflight.org/bushawardsgala.
The 2019 Awards Gala is sponsored by Presenting Partner the Ambassador of the State of Qatar, H.E. Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani and Mrs. Al-Thani; and Signature Partners Toyota, and Johnny and Jeanie Morris of Bass Pro Shops.
About Points of Light
Points of Light is a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through affiliates in 200 cities across 37 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 14 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.