TUSCALOOSA NATIVE AWARDED HONOR IN GEORGE H.W. BUSH ERA

1000 Pillars Of Light

One of President George H.W. Bush’s nationwide efforts touched the life of a well-known local woman.

The 1,000 Points of Light program recognized people across the country who volunteered in their communities and helped solve social problems. One of those lights is Betty Shirley, who reflected Wednesday on her time with the president.

“It was such a special honor for me,” Shirley said.

She was the 632nd American named as a daily point of light after Bush gave his 1,000 Points of Light speech in 1989.

Even though Shirley said she was surprised by the honor, those around her weren’t at all. Her accomplishments include being on the board of the Rise Center, the board of Friends at Bryce and the Mental Health Board, and she’s also been involved in other organizations throughout her life. But she said it’s her work with children that granted her such an honor.

“Maybe I was nominated because of my love and my work for children who have disabilities,” she said.

Shirley said she gives her grandson Walt a lot of the credit, too.

“Without Walt I wouldn’t have been a point of light, and I’ll just never forget that day,” she said.

Meeting President Bush was a blessing, Shirley said, because there won’t ever be another president like him.

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