Don Capps Donald C. Capps Receives the Jefferson Award by David Houck ********** From the Editor: David Houck is the Treasurer of the NFB of South Carolina and director of the Federation Center of the Blind. ********** On Monday afternoon, May 24, 1999, at the Embassy Suites in Columbia, South Carolina, a special annual luncheon was hosted by WLTX-TV 19, the CBS affiliate in Columbia, to bestow the Jefferson Award for outstanding community service upon NFB of South Carolina President Donald C. Capps and two other recipients, Charlotte L. Berry and William L. Hamilton. The award is sponsored by the American Institute for Public Service, which was established by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Robert W. Taft, Jr., in 1973. The invocation was offered by Dr. George E. Metze, the Chaplin of the State Senate. The Honorable Bob Peeler, South Carolina's Lieutenant Governor, also addressed the audience. Brief video presentations of each of the three recipients, to be aired later on WLTX, were screened during the ceremony. The recipients were presented with their awards and made remarks to the gathering, which were videotaped as well.
The program agenda spoke of Mr. Capps as follows: "Longtime [NFB of South Carolina] President, Donald Capps began a legacy of serving the blind which spans almost half a century. In 1953 Donald became interested in the organized blind movement and was elected President of the Columbia Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, where he presently holds the office of President of the NFB of South Carolina. One of Donald's major accomplishments was the establishment of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind as an independent agency in 1966. Among his many activities Donald is editor of the Palmetto Blind, a quarterly publication, and he also served as President of the Forest Acres Rotary Club. He is currently working on a project for the development of Rocky Bottom Camp of the Blind [the Ralph M. Ellenburg, Sr., Lodge], where he serves as founder of the camp. In respect for his many accomplishments the Federation Center of the Blind named its fellowship hall in his honor for his lifetime service to the blind."
Upon receiving this prestigious award, President Capps thanked the South Carolina blind community, the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina, the Federation Center of the Blind, the School for the Deaf and Blind, his faithful wife Betty, and WLTX-TV 19 for its community-minded spirit.
The award is a large bronze medallion which displays on its obverse an eagle with the words "Jefferson Award--American Institute for Public Service," and the reverse side reads, "In recognition of outstanding public service," and is signed by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; R.W. Taft, Jr.; and Samuel S. Beard. **********