A noteworthy choice

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Seldom do hit TV series portray the values of hard work, family and community that make Southeast Missouri such a desirable place to live. More often than not, middle America is the butt of sitcom jokes.

But Linda Bloodworth Thomason changed that with her hit series "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade" during the 1990s. The Poplar Bluff native didn't forget her Southeast Missouri heritage when she went to Hollywood, nor did she downplay its role in her life.

For those efforts, Bloodworth Thomason was chosen as the first recipient of the Celebration Award presented by the Zonta Club of Cape Girardeau.

The award recognizes someone who has used her success to better the lives of women, both locally and nationally.

During her tenure as a series creator and writer, Bloodworth Thomason helped bring attention to women's issues. She created the Claudia Foundation, based in Poplar Bluff, that encourages reading, offers scholarships to women and promotes community service.

The awards luncheon also served as a fund raiser for local service projects supported by Zonta, including the Safe House for Women, Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence and literacy projects.

During last week's ceremony, Bloodworth Thomason said the award was special because it came from people who share her heritage and values.

Zonta made a statement when it selected Bloodworth Thomason as its first Celebration Award recipient. She is a woman who has represented well the values that make Southeast Missouri great and who has supported the values of Zonta.

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