American singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman and humanitarian, Dolly Parton, has been named the 2018 Los Angeles Press Club’s Bill Rosendahl Public Service Awardee for Contributions to Civic Life.
Dolly Parton is not just a legendary artist and entertainer, she is a dedicated philanthropist and the founder of the Imagination Library. She has given away 100 million books to children and has been hailed as “a champion of early childhood literacy.”
“I am proud to receive the Bill Rosendahl Public Service Award for Contributions to Civic Life in the honor of the millions of children who are reading these books around the world, making them wiser, wittier and preparing them for a happy and productive future,” said Dolly Parton.
“Dolly is one of the world’s greatest performers but her talent goes beyond singing and songwriting. As she has proven in her long career she is someone who really cares for children. And she has a special place in her heart for working class Americans,” said Press Club President Chris Palmeri,” Bureau Chief of Bloomberg Los Angeles.
The Imagination Library started as a small, local effort to help kids in Dolly’s native Sevier County, Tennessee and has grown to reach children in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. In a recent interview she told NPR: “We never thought it would be this big. I just wanted to do something great for my dad and for my home county and, at the most, maybe a couple of counties over. But then it just took wings of its own, and I guess it was meant to be.”
Parton’s inspiration for the Imagination Library, initiated in 1995, was deeply personal. Her father, Robert Lee Parton. like many people of his generation, was unable to attend school and did not learn to read and write. From a young age he was needed at home to help support his family. It is in his name that she has brought the gift of literacy to the countless children who know the legendary star as “The Book Lady.”
The Public Service Award will be presented at the 60th SoCal Journalism Awards Gala on Sunday, June 24th at the Biltmore Millennium Hotel, downtown LA.
More than 500 journalists and media executives will attend this prestigious event.
In addition to honoring Dolly Parton at the LAPC Gala Event, NBC News’ Lester Holt will receive the Joseph M Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement, Los Angeles Times Editor Kimi Yoshino will receive the President’s Award for Impact on Media and imprisoned Saudi Arabian Writer and Blogger Raif Badawi will be honored with the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism (Badawi’s wife and three children will travel from their new home in Canada to accept the award, as he is still in a Saudi prison).
Proceeds from the Gala are the largest source of income for this 501(c)3 non-profit organization that speaks for journalists across all media platforms. All contributions are tax-deductible.
For more information about this event or to sponsor, advertise or buy tickets go to www.LApressclub.org or contact Executive Director Diana Ljungaeus at 310.210.1860 or email Diana-AT-LApressclub.org.
The LAPC is one of the oldest and most respected journalist organizations in the nation with a storied history of honoring the most celebrated reporters of the past century. In recent years the Los Angeles Press Club has continued to uphold its tradition of acknowledging excellence in spite of the fact that Journalism itself has struggled in the face of ever declining budgets.