The League of Women Voters recognized two Dallas neighbors Thursday at its annual awards luncheon at the Lakewood Country Club for their equal rights work.
Lake Highlands resident Will Toler received the 2019 Champion Volunteer Award for his pro bono work helping underserved communities with their property taxes.
“There have been people in here who have been champions of their community longer than I’ve been alive, and I’m proud to share a stage and a room with all of you,” Toler said.
With the help of his father, Toby, and Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough, the 28-year-old won property tax reductions for many residents in Hamilton Park. Taxes in that neighborhood are disproportionately high for the 1950s-era residences, and homeowners seldom oppose their bills.
“Using your professional expertise to help, love and serve your neighbor is what this is all about,” McGough said.
The East Dallas organization also awarded the Susan B. Anthony Award to Lake Highlands resident Susybelle Gosslee for her efforts to help young girls who had experienced abuse and abandonment.
In 1985, Gosslee founded Our Friends Place, which provides a foster group home for girls 10-17. Since then, the organization has developed two transitional living centers and the SOAR to Success program, which teaches young women skills to prevent homelessness.
“I’m looking for the best solutions for the common good for people in the next 10,000 miles,” she said. “But anyone who does anything is a hero.”