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Tonight all the living Presidents will join civic leaders, corporate leaders and philanthropists from around the globe, as well as entertainers, politicians from both sides of the aisle and everyday citizens for a landmark celebration to honor President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush. The celebration will pay tribute to their leadership in founding and advancing the modern-day volunteer service movement, and their commitment to advancing our nation’s greatest tradition and ideal—the compassionate and transformative power of citizen action.
The “All Together Now” tribute taking place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, is a celebration of service hosted by the Points of Light Institute (POLI), an organization that aims to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. The Case Foundation is proud to be a long-term Points of Light supporter and part of this inspirational event that serves as an important milestone for POLI’s Service Generation Campaign, a multi-million fund that will be used to recruit and activate 500,000 service leaders, launch HandsOn Network local action centers, and create 2,000,000 impact-driven volunteer projects across the country.
Celebrities including Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker and others will join an impressive list of thought leaders who will be part of celebrating the former first family and the service movement. In a truly historic fashion, four former U.S. Presidents will also be in attendance, and President Obama, who will be out of the country, will make a special video appearance.
Many people don’t know that what has become the modern service and civic engagement field, represented by names such as AmeriCorps, City Year, HandsOn, Public Allies and more, may not be here if it weren’t for President Bush making citizen service a key component of his Presidency. It was more than 20 years ago that President Bush laid the foundation of what would become the modern service and civic engagement movement when he envisioned a thousand points of light spread like stars in a broad and peaceful sky in his inauguration address. His legacy, which has been recognized and built upon by every President since, includes the creation of the first White House Office of National Service, Learn and Serve America and POLI.
As a young woman in Washington at that time, I was inspired by the President and First Lady’s message to take action. Since founding the Case Foundation, we've aimed to help catalyze civic engagement and we thank President and Mrs. Bush for inspiring us not only with their words and calls to action, but by the humble, compassionate and action-oriented way in which they live their lives. As we take this moment to pause and reflect on the tremendous impact they have made in our nation and in communities around the world, we at the Case Foundation celebrate their legacy and commit ourselves to do more together in civic action to further the path that in many ways they have championed for us all.
I hope you will join me in this special salute to the Bushes for all that they have done and take a moment to honor those “points of lights” in your community who are using service as a solution to light the way for us all.