Bolton honored with Book of Golden Deeds
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove recognized Trudy Bolton with the Book of Golden Deeds Award during a reception held in her honor at the Copperas Cove ISD Board of Trustees meeting room last Thursday.
Bolton, who turns 89 later this year, is the co-founder of Operation Stand Down Central Texas and a member of the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove (Morning Exchange Club).
Joe Burns, who is the immediate past president of the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove, shared some of Bolton’s accolades and background during the reception before presenting her with the award.
Trudy Emma Bolton was born in Mannheim, Germany, as an only child, raised by her grandparents. She met her future husband, Robert, who was a soldier in Karlsruhe, Germany, and they married in 1961. Trudy earned her American citizenship in Waco in the early 1970s. She has traveled the world, supporting her husband in his career and raising their two children, James and Joann. She remained busy helping other people and volunteering at the different military posts where her husband was assigned.
Her husband passed away in 2004 after a four-year battle with liver cancer as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. She moved in with Joann and Christopher Courtland and their daughter, Kylie, in 2008.
Bolton and Joann founded the non-profit organization Operation Stand Down Central Texas in January 2015.
“Tonight, we really want to recognize the efforts of an unsung hero,” Burns said. “There’s a lot of people that do a lot of things, and they get a lot of publicity for it, and then there are a lot of heroes that work behind the scenes, and our city is full of folks who spend time, energy and effort making sure that other people are taken care of, that they’re treated with dignity and respect, and that even in their darkest days, they get a smile from someone, they get a hug from someone, and they can get a kind word; and that just speaks to the kind of people that we have.”
He added that Bolton is one of these unsung heroes.
“She doesn’t like to be out front. She doesn’t want to be put on a stage,” Burns said. “She doesn’t want to be paraded in front of people- that would be embarrassing and presumptuous to her- but she is one of those people that if you’re having an off day, that if you’re not in the best situation that you can be in, her smile and a sweet gentle hug and a kind word can go a long, long way.”
Bolton can be found volunteering at OSDCT’s new location on Carpenter Street three days a week, where she goes through the donated items and organizes each category of item, marking down how many of what there are and making sure that the donations are ready to go for the Fall and Spring Stand Downs.
“Trudy is the most caring and giving person that you will ever be, and as we say in Texas, her hearts as big as Texas, so we’re very proud that we’re honoring Trudy tonight,” Burns said. “She exemplifies and embodies the true meaning of a caring, compassionate person.”
Burns added that no matter whether a person is at OSDCT as a volunteer or a person in need, they know Trudy Bolton and are treated kindly.
“She’s the busy little lady who’s always going around like a bumble bee pollinating all the flowers,” Burns said. “She’s taking care of all kinds of things.”
In addition to volunteering at OSDCT, Bolton volunteers at the Killeen Cove Hood Phantom Special Olympics group, assisting the athletes during their bowling on a weekly basis and helps fundraise for the athletes’ items and helps at their Christmas party as a server and decorator.
She is also involved with the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove (Morning Exchange), helping with the senior dinner, handing out flags on Give A Kid A Flag Day and in the parade. She also makes sure to donate flowers and attend most of the unclaimed/unattended veteran burials that are held at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery “to ensure that no veteran is buried without someone there,” Burns said.
The Book of Golden Deeds award is the National Exchange Club’s longest running project and is reserved as a way to recognize dedicated volunteers who give “endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live,” according to the National Exchange Club website.
After receiving the award, Bolton said that it was a great honor to be recognized and receive the award.
“I don’t like people to fuss over me,” she added.
She was joined at the reception by her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. Other attendees included City Manager Ryan Haverlah, City of Copperas Cove’s Director of Public Relations Kevin Keller, City Councilmember Vonya Hart, and other members of the Morning Exchange Club.