New York's First Lady Honored With the Daily Point of Light Award at National Conference of Volunteering and Service

Jun 30, 2010, 10:29 ET from Points of Light Institute

ATLANTA, June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson of New York was one of four honorees recognized with the Daily Point of Light Award from Points of Light Institute. Paterson was honored June 28 at a gala event in New York City at the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, co-convened by Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

As the Director of External Affairs and Corporate Contributions for HIP (Health Plan of New York), she worked with community organizations, agencies, and corporations on issues such as healthcare and education. First Lady Paterson's community service activities include assisting victims of domestic violence. She spent three years as an on-call volunteer at the St. Luke's – Roosevelt Hospital where she counseled injured domestic violence victims in the emergency room about the services provided by hospitals and the state government. She is currently the Director of Integrative Wellness at Emblem Health, formerly HIP, where she focuses on evidence-based programs that promote healthy living, with a concentration on childhood obesity and stress-related ailments.

First Lady Paterson's public service efforts include turning the fitness challenge that she created for her home community of Harlem into a statewide initiative called "Healthy Steps to Albany: First Lady's Challenge." The program challenges middle school students to lead healthy lifestyles through exercising more and eating healthy foods. Through the collaboration and cooperation of New York State schools, state agencies and community organizations, this program aims to foster positive healthy changes in children's lives.

The Daily Point of Light Award honors individuals and groups creating meaningful change in communities across America. The award, established by former President George H. W. Bush, recognizes volunteer efforts in the following service areas: environmental stewardship, education, empowering youth to serve, building healthy communities and improving economic viability of local communities.

Three other Daily Point of Light award-winners were recognized for creating meaningful changes in their communities across America. Delores Powell of Buffalo, NY received the award for her work with PUSH Buffalo and the resulting Extreme Makeover: Neighborhood Edition that built Powell a new home, and renovated another 119 homes in her community. Katy Keck of New York, NY has raised more than $200,000 in donations for Infinite Family, an online mentoring organization for orphaned children in Africa.  Shannon Lambert of Minneapolis, MN received the award for creating Pandora's Project, an online resource that supports 20,000 sexual abuse survivors worldwide.

For more information on the Daily Point of Light Awards, contact Saxon Seay at For more information on the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, visit

About Points of Light Institute

Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The Institute has a global focus to redefine volunteerism and civic engagement for the 21st century, putting people at the center of community problem solving. We are organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help people act upon their power to make a difference. Points of Light Institute operates three dynamic business units that share our mission: HandsOn Network, MissionFish and the Civic Incubator. For more information, please see

SOURCE Points of Light Institute