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Story Archives: Bolton honored as "Point of Light" for community service
|Bolton honored as "Point of Light" for community service|
What a pleasant surprise it was when Addie Bolton received the following message in her mailbox in mid-summer of 2009:
"President George H.W. Bush invites you to save the date, Friday, October 16, 2009 for a Presidential Forum and Special Event celebrating the 20th Anniversary of a Thousand Points of Light, George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. Invitation to follow."
The invitation followed from Roshunda Sims of the Atlanta, Georgia Points of Light office. Not only had Mrs. Bolton saved the date, but she honored it by traveling to Texas with the United Ministerial Alliance, Inc., with board Secretary Rev. Deacue Fields and his wife Marriah Brown Fields.
Other person who were registered, but could not attend because of prior engagements, included Winnsboro's Mayor Jack Hammons, Police Juror Leroy Scott, UMA Board President Rev. Herman E. Harris Sr., Dr. Floyda Jan Hicks, Rev. and Mrs. Charles Hunter, and Mr. Dean Campbell, past Program Specialist for the United Ministerial Alliance Head Start Program, from the Region VI Office of Health and Human Services, Dallas, Texas.
President Barack Obama was the featured speaker at this special event which united President Obama and President George H.W. Bush to commemorate 20 years of service following Mr. Bush's utterance of the phrase that gave the group its name, "I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good," he said in his inaugural address on January 20, 1989. He continued the theme in a State of the Union Address in which he said, "We have within our reach the promise of a renewed America. We can find meaning and reward by serving some purpose higher than ourselves — shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light. It is expressed by all who know the irresistible force of a child's hand or a friend who stands by you and stays there — a volunteer's generous gesture, an idea that is simply right."
The Points of Lights Foundation was created in 1990 and offered a variety of programs, products, and services to help to support volunteer-based organizations and connect volunteers to volunteer opportunities from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was created as a non-profit organization to help promote the ideas expounded by President Bush.
In addition to honoring President Bush, the celebration also recognized hundreds of individuals and groups who had rendered outstanding volunteer service during the past 20 years. Each entity is registered as a Point of Light in Washington, D.C.
Bolton is registered as Point of Light No. 1673. She earned this honor primarily through her leadership with Project Excellence and Project Head Start. When the LA Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Company's Angel Award Program was announced, a group of supporters and co-workers in the Community Head Start Coalition decided to nominate Bolton because of the work she was doing in providing extra educational opportunities to and for Louisiana's children. John M. Guice, local insurance businessman, submitted the letter of nomination and Geraldine Walker Crumpton Head Start Parent Involvement Coordinator, prepared the scrapbook. After Bolton was honored as a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Angel, her name was submitted to Washington, D.C. to be registered as a Point of Light.
Bolton is a 1952 graduate of Alcorn A&M College (now Alcorn State University) at Lorman, Miss. She says that much of her attitude toward servanthood was shaped when she was in college, after becoming a charter member of Delta Epsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a service-oriented organization. She was also influenced by her parents, both of whom were dedicated community leaders.
She earned her master of arts degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, where her master's thesis was titled, "Effects of a Linguistic Approach on Intermediate — Grade Disabled Readers and Slow Learners."
Further education has been gained through courses at the Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe and through two NDEA (National Defense Education Act) Institutes as follows: "Arts and Humanities" at the Memphis, Tennessee Academy of Arts and "Teachers of Disadvantages Youth" at Southern University., two educational travel tours facilitated through Grambling State University to Europe, Africa, and Asia and to the western United States and Mexico — the Eastern United States and Canada; a tour with the People to People Ambassador Program which was originated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Enacted under the auspices of the International Reading Association, the initiative provided positive interaction between and among the people of America and educators and students in Budapest Hungary, St. Petersburg and Moscow Russia. She also participant in Class III of Mid-South Delta Leaders Program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through Delta State Universit in Cleveland, Miss., Arkansas State University and Grambling State University.
Over the years, she has helped to sponsor two National "Make a Difference Day" events, the first of which lead to the elimination of a night club, the Watering Hole" in the heart of the community and had it turned into a center where parents could be trained to help promote ways to build stronger families. The second event was the establishment of an outdoor classroom for science and nature study and for a community garden for after-school tutorial students and their families.
Through her position as the Executive Director, Family Literacy Coordinator, and Community-Based Tutorial Programs Director for more than 20 years, she wrote the following successful proposals: bring the Federal Head Start Program into Franklin Parish; a summer school program for TANF Families to serve children with eight weeks of summer school at a cost of $600,000; a program to help families with utility payments and a Homeless Shelter through the Louisiana Department of Social Services which was administered by the Franklin Parish Police Jury; a summer program for reading, language arts through the Louisiana Department of Education; sponsored seven AmeriCorps students to help them attend college, one of whom is now employed in the Franklin Parish School System; and helped to raise funds to provide after-school tutors for the Franklin Parish School System.
Mrs. Bolton is the widow of Frank Bolton, retired from the Franklin Parish School system in 1981, a former band director and social studies teacher in the Franklin Parish School System, and in whose honor the very first Franklin Parish Catfish Festival was dedicated because of the work he had done to help get the program established in Franklin Parish. One of the main things he did was travel with a local group to the Mississippi Delta (Belzoni), take photographs which he had made into slides and presented photographic information to support the oral reports that were made by members.
This volunteer shares her honor with all the people of Franklin Parish and other people throughout Louisiana and beyond — her own family members and her two sons, friends and supporters in the other agencies, her classmates at every level — all persons, businesses, organizations, etc., who have stood with her in very difficult times. She extends special thanks and appreciation to the parents, churches, Luella Snyder, Claretha Washington, Mr. and Mrs. Shelton Blunt, Lillie Mae Carter, the family of the late Mr. Burr Butler, the family of the late Mrs. Agnes Hicks, The Franklin Sun and the Franklin Parish School System, and all United Ministerial Alliance officers and board members.
A special salute is given to the groups that collaborated to form Project Excellence, the Modern Matrons Club; the late Mrs. Arniece Swazer and the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service; The Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department; and the United Ministerial Alliance, then headed by Rev. Eddie J. McFarland.
Bolton holds membership in First Zion Baptist Church in Winnsboro where she serves as Sunday School teacher, program chairperson, and hostess. Her pastor is the newly installed Rev. J.R. Spears, who succeeded the late Rev. Amos J. Griffin.
President Obama was very generous in his praise of the accomplishments of President Bush's volunteer initiative and encouraged every person in America to continue volunteer efforts in their communities because there are many needs that the federal government cannot supply.