Hot Springs Village is a community comprised of many hardworking, highly-principled, and compassionate residents. In addition, Villagers have always been civic-minded, serving others in many different capacities both individually and through organizations such as churches and clubs. The governance of the Village also consists of volunteers which include a volunteer Board of Directors and committee members.
Working hard, devoting time and resources, Villagers shine as a beacon of light throughout the Village and surrounding communities. Our 41st U.S. President, George H. W. Bush, was a supporter of the vibrant philanthropic spirit that enthusiastically courses through the veins of Hot Springs Village residents.
President Bush firmly believed in the spirit of volunteerism. During his 1989 inaugural address, the President expressed to the nation his vision of encouraging and acknowledging community service, calling his idea a “Thousand Points of Light”.
“I’ve spoken of a thousand points of light – of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation doing good.“
“We will work hand-in-hand, encouraging – sometimes leading, sometimes being led – rewarding…”
“The old ideas are new again because they are not old. They are timeless – duty, sacrifice, commitment, and patriotism that finds it’s expression in taking part in pitching in.“President George H. W. Bush, 1989 Inaugural Address
When we help someone else, we are also helping ourselves. President Bush understood this principle and believed that there is meaning and reward for those who serve others and giving in this way is serving a higher purpose than ourselves. He emphasized, “We all have something to give.”
In January of 1990, President Bush established the “Daily Points of Light Award”. This was an honor bestowed on individuals making a difference and he recognized more than 1000 volunteers as “points of light”.
Thousand Points of Light Recognition Bestowed on the Village
According to History of Hot Springs Village, Odd Lieberg, a “consummate volunteer” compiled a “mass of information on volunteerism by residents of the Village and forwarded this information to President Bush”. President Bush took notice of Lieberg’s letter and responded.
In a letter dated, December 2, 1992, President Bush congratulated Hot Springs Village for its volunteerism. The Village was awarded a “Point of Light” medallion and holds the prestigious honor of being the 989th “Point of Light”.
The heart and soul of this very special letter from President Bush are captured in the topic sentences of four paragraphs:
- “I was delighted to learn of your outstanding work on behalf of your community.”
- “Since taking office as President, I have urged all Americans to make Community Service central to their lives and work.”
- “We must not allow ourselves to be measured by the sum of our possessions or the size of our bank account.”
- “Barbara joins me in congratulating you and in sending you our unanimous best wishes for the future.”
The Village Voice reported that Hot Springs Village was the ONLY COMMUNITY to be recognized and honored by President Bush with this national award. The Voice article was picked up by newspapers and wire services across the nation who reiterated that HSV received one of the last “Points of Light” awarded by President Bush.
What government alone can do is limited, but the potential of the American people knows no limits.”President George H. W. Bush, Founder of Points of Light
State of Arkansas Honors Village for Volunteerism in 2000
✱In addition to receiving the “Points of Light” award, it was reported that Hot Springs Village was honored by the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Volunteerism. HSV, along with 11 other communities received the state’s “Volunteer Community of the Year Award” in 2000.
Village residents Maj. Gen. (Retired) Bill Lefler and Virginia “Ginna” Watson nominated Hot Springs Village for the Arkansas state award.
Volunteer Spirit Still Marches On
This generous spirit of giving and volunteerism continues today and is evident with the fruits of many Village organizations and in the governance of the POA. In addition to those efforts, there are many individuals who contribute and assist in many small and large ways.
Thank you to each and every volunteer in the Village as you are a shining light and exemplify humanity’s goodness and compassionate essence.
✱The Property Owners’ Association Advocate (November/December 2000, Vol. 24, No. 6, issue)
CHERYL DOWDEN, Hot Springs Village People Gazette, March 20, 2022
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