For more than seven decades Elizabeth P. Carter has navigated through vast life experiences guided by two intrinsic beliefs: "The Answer is Love" and "Everybody is Somebody."
They are beliefs Elizabeth practices daily through the Tri-State Promoters organization, formed 34 years ago in response to a variety of unmet needs of area school children and their families. Elizabeth, who worked then as a school crossing guard, and beloved East Liverpool educators Ann Johnston and the late Ruth Kincaid witnessed these needs and worked together to provide solutions that would allow the recipients to retain their dignity.
With that philosophy the Tri-State Promoters was born and in that vein it continues to operate today with people helping people - reaching out to make life better. In its 34-year history the Tri-State Promoters has grown to provide an emergency food pantry 365 days a year, free clothing for children and adults, free piano and music lessons for anyone wishing to learn, a summer enrichment program for young people, good manners workshops for children, fellowship opportunities and the tools for building better self-esteem. The Promoters also provide dinners that feed more than 1,000 at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, as well as daily snacks for children and food giveaways on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
At the heart of the Promoters, making it all possible, are the sponsors and volunteers, who rally around Elizabeth to provide the assistance required to keep the organization going. "Without them, we could not do what we're doing," she says succinctly.
The combined effort has garnered considerable notice. In 1990, former President George W. Bush named Elizabeth and her Promoters organization his 222nd Point of Light in his Thousand Points of Light program. Oprah Winfrey aired a segment about the Promoters on her television show in 1994. Elizabeth's call to help others was fostered in the strict, but loving Christian home of her parents, the late Ralph and Loyce Smith Pope and strengthened in the First Baptist Church of Midland and the multi-cultural Penn-Ohio Avenue neighborhood where she was raised. As it was then, music continues to be an integral part of Elizabeth's life. A pianist and choir director of First Baptist Church since age 13, Elizabeth infuses her family's tradition of musical fellowship into Promoters' programs as well.
Elizabeth and her husband Richard W. Carter, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary August 26. They are the parents of sons, Ralph and Rick Carter. They have eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.