Atlanta Gas Light Company and WSB Radio Honor the Late Mayor Maynard Jackson With Shining Light Award
February 24, 2004
ATLANTA, Ga. - (Feb. 24, 2004) - The late Maynard Jackson, the first African-American mayor of Atlanta who created new opportunities in government for minorities and women, was honored today with the 40th Shining Light Award by Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC) and WSB Radio.
AGLC also presented a $10,000 donation to Maynard H. Jackson Youth Foundation, which is devoted to fostering leadership in Atlanta youth.
Over its 40-year history, the Shining Light Award has become an Atlanta and Georgia tradition of honoring outstanding leaders whose selfless community service has served as examples to others. The award is an ever-burning old-fashioned gas light. Jackson's lamp will be installed within the next few months at the intersection of "Sweet" Auburn Avenue and Peachtree Street, a site that symbolized Jackson's dreams of a unified Atlanta.
The award was presented by Paula G. Rosput, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGL Resources, parent company of AGLC. Accepting the award was Valerie Jackson, Mayor Jackson's widow.
"Maynard Jackson's passing left such a void in our community that there is a huge need to recognize his many contributions," said Rosput, who read a moving excerpt about Jackson and his grandfather from the book "Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn" by Gary M. Pomerantz. "Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. meant so much to so many. His leadership, symbolized by this light, will always be a guide for us."
"This light so personifies Maynard's radiant soul and positive belief that the light at the end of the tunnel is not another train," said Valerie Jackson in accepting the award. "Maynard's light was a glow that took in everybody and everything around him."
Rosput presented the award at a luncheon for about 200 friends and members of the Jackson family, including three of the late mayor's five children: Brooke Jackson Edmond, Maynard "Buzzy" Jackson III and Valerie Amanda Jackson.
Ingrid Saunders Jones, senior vice president, corporate external affairs at The Coca-Cola Company, and a former member of Jackson's staff, called the gathering a reunion: "We can't talk about the City of Atlanta without talking about Maynard Jackson. He gave voice to those who had no voice."
A poignant moment came when Rita McCauley, an administrative assistant at AGL Resources, presented to his widow a scrapbook that she had prepared about Mayor Jackson.
Other prominent Georgians who have received the award include: former President Jimmy Carter; Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young; entrepreneurs and philanthropists J. B. Fuqua and Truett Cathy; baseball player and businessman Hank Aaron; Sen. Zell Miller; and historian Franklin Garrett.