Representative Trey Gowdy (SC-04) today announced on Jan. 24, 2011, he will be accompanied to the State of the Union address by Madison Turcotte, a 10-year-old student at Taylors Elementary School in Greenville with an exceptional dedication to the community and public service.
Madison, a fifth grader, serves on Student Council at Taylors Elementary. She bakes cookies for her company, “Kookies for Kids,” and donates the proceeds to the GHS Children’s Hospital to pay for birthday parties for hospitalized children. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marc (Gina) Turcotte of Taylors.
“When I heard about her kindness, her devotion to others less fortunate, her selfless acts and her interest in public service, I was humbled. We need to meet her and learn from her – she has a lot to teach current members of Congress,” Congressman Gowdy said. “My ticket to the State of the Union comes from the people I represent and their willingness to let me serve them in Washington. I wanted to use the extra ticket in a way that would honor them. The ticket belongs to them, not me.” This will not be the last child that accompanies Gowdy to the State of the Union as he announced an annual contest honoring children who are equally committed to principle and politeness. The contest, entitled “I’m Principled but Polite,” will encourage children to hold firm to their beliefs but to practice kindness and politeness to one another.
“Too often our children see ad hominem attacks passed off as debate, vitriol passed off as virtue,” Gowdy said. “The Upstate of South Carolina can lead the way it believes. When I think of notable past and present leaders from the Upstate, I am struck by their ability to balance deeply held ideological beliefs with cordiality. That is a trait worth encouraging and I hope this essay contest can reward it.”