2014-10-23 | The Georgetown Dish
Points of Light Tribute Awards Gala Celebrates Volunteerism
Basketball great Dikembe Mutombo lifts up prodigy cellist Justin Yu
as honorary co-chair Yue-Sai Kan is amused by the heights.
$3,000 for a 90-year-old man's dirty red socks?? Well, it was for a good cause. Former President George H.W. Bush wore the socks when he skydived from a plane on his 90th birthday this year. And the $3,000 goes to Points of Light, the international good works organization that held its annual dinner and auction Wednesday night at the Chinese Embassy. The generous buyer’s name was not made public, but his friends and associates will find out when they likely wind up on a vanity wall.
The “41” socks came in a frame with a plaque noting the skydiving episode. Now that’s a quality piece of Presidential memorabilia from the man whose inaugural address "points of light" phrase inspired creation of Points of Light.
Chinese Ambassador H.E. Cui Tiankai of the People’s Republic of China and Mr. and Mrs. Neil M. Bush (“41’s son) co-hosted the event that drew nearly 300 to the magnificent embassy. Dinner was announced by a beautiful Chinese dragon who sashayed through the crowd to the heavy beat of drums.
Emcee Greta Van Susteren, Fox News channel host of “On The Record,” a fan of “41,” said she had one complaint: “He is the world’s worst interview because he refuses to talk about himself.” She said he gives all the credit to others. Bush’s mother told him not to brag, so he just doesn’t, she said. Health issues prevented the former president from attending the event.
Some of the attendees included Mack McLarty, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton; NBA basketball great Dikembe Mutombo, who played at Georgetown; Retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft; Yue-Sai Kan, a Chinese American Emmy-winning television host and producer who People magazine called “the most famous woman in China, and Ming Tsai, celebrity chef, author and host of PBS TV’s “Simply Ming.” Kan and Scowcroft were honorary co-hosts. Music prodigyJustin Yu, an 8-year-old cellist, performed onstage.
“Volunteerism is universal and it is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture,’ said Ambassador Cui. “Points of Light has inspired the Chinese people to find more and better ways to help others. HandsOn China, one rapidly growing part of Points of Light, is now actively involved with volunteer services in China.
“I am confident that it will play an even more active role in years to come.”
Proceeds from the dinner will go to the nonpartisan, global volunteer organization’s activities to promote volunteerism.