:Louise B. Adams is applauded by Pat Patrick after receiving the award named in his honor, the Pat Patrick Big Heart Award, at a reception Tuesday night. Staff Photos: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith
COVINGTON -- Louise B. Adams is the recipient of the 2013 Pat Patrick Big Heart Award.
The award is given annually by the Newton Fund, which works with community members, nonprofits and other partners to encourage philanthropy in Newton County. The Pat Patrick Award is named after the Newton Fund's founding chair and goes to a local citizen who has made a measurable difference through his or her volunteerism.
At a reception held Tuesday evening at Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast, Adams received a $2,000 check to donate to a nonprofit of her choice. She picked Washington Street Community Center, where she has volunteered for 20 years.
"I'm overjoyed to receive this award," Adams said.
"My love of children and their literacy has been my driving force for 53 years, first teaching elementary and middle school students and later guiding students and teachers as principal of Ficquett Elementary School," she added.
Adams is a retired educator who founded the Washington Street Community Center after-school homework tutorial program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She started the program because of the need she saw in hard-to-reach children who were struggling academically. Adams coordinates, plans and tutors students who need help with reading, science, math, language arts and social science homework. She also provides help to remediate and/or enrich homework activities sent from school.
Adams is also a volunteer member of the Washington Street Community Center board of directors and helps to assure the sustainability of the Center through her personal contributions as well as securing additional funding from her many philanthropic connections and civic involvement in the community.
"Mrs. Adams has made a tremendous impact on the lives of many young people through her work in teaching at-risk children and youth with special needs," said Margaret Washington, chair of the Newton Fund Advisory Committee. "She firmly believes in the empowerment of parents and families to better support their children. She has helped to forge many collaborations and partnerships within the community, which have provided programs and funding that help to ensure the success of the Washington Street Community Center for future generations. She works hard on the frontlines, doing it all with a smile."
This year, three local nonprofits received more than $12,500 in grants from the Newton Fund. Recipients were Damascus Road Recovery, which provides treatment for recovering alcohol and drug addicts; Newton County Community Partnership, a collaboration that brings community partners together to develop, implement and evaluate plans to address challenges facing children and families; and The Newton Mentoring Program, which trains adult mentors to work with students in the Newton County School System.
Since 2000, The Community Foundation through a variety of grant programs and donor giving has invested nearly $2.5 million in more than 80 nonprofits, approximately one-third of all nonprofits in Newton County.