Mayor stresses volunteerism after attending Kennedy Center event honoring Bush

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Cumberland Times-News, March 22, 2011

Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim, left, talks to entertainer Garth Brooks during the Points of Light tribute to former President George H.W. Bush at Kennedy Center Gala Monday.


CUMBERLAND — Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim attended a Points of Light Institute tribute event Monday aimed at encouraging volunteerism in America, which in turn, has inspired him to ask residents to get involved in a community service.

“I’m asking people to get their hands dirty and make a difference,” said Grim. “This summer, I would like to see more volunteers out in our community than ever before. Many local organizations need volunteer support.”

Grim, who has volunteered with the Volunteer Team at Rocky Gap State Park, Dan’s Mountain State Park and Green Ridge State Forest since he was 10 years old, encourages young people to get involved as well.

“It’s never too young to get started,” said Grim. “To move this community forward, it is going to take all hands on deck doing everything possible, cooperating and working together.”

Grim noted that other groups like the American Red Cross, Allegany County United Way, Allegany County Volunteer Center, Toys for Happiness and local volunteer fire companies are in need of volunteers.

“The most immediate impact that citizens can make is by calling the County United Way and signing up to participate in upcoming events like the Day of Caring and Sharing,” said Grim.

Volunteers are also needed to participate in neighborhood groups. “Each Cumberland neighborhood group sponsors several cleanup programs per year and it’s every citizen’s civic duty to get involved and do what you can to make your neighborhood and the city of Cumberland clean.”

On Monday, Grim attended the Points of Light tribute to former president George H.W. Bush. Bush was honored at Kennedy Center Gala by three other living ex-presidents and a star-studded entertainment lineup, including Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Kid Rock. The event will be aired Monday on NBC with all proceeds going toward Points of Light Institute. The event, which was by invitation only, raised more than $30 million for Points of Light Institute, according to Grim.  

Points of Light Institute is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization created to encourage and empower the spirit of service and was created in response to President George H.W. Bush’s inaugural address that invoked the vision of a “thousand points of light,” according to the Points of Light website.

Before the tribute event, Grim was able to meet with country singer Garth Brooks and speak with him about the importance of volunteering. “Brooks is a big advocate for volunteerism and I spoke with him about the awareness that volunteers are needed to keep programs operating,” said Grim.

For more information on the Volunteer Team at Rocky Gap, visit For more information on Points of Light Institute, visit