On February 19, a fine crowd gathered in Merredith’s Restaurant in the Plaza for the annual dinner of the Legacy Museum, hosted by Mario Thomas. Among numerous luminaries attending were Mayor Joan Foster, Vice Mayor Bert Dodson, City Councilmen Ceasor Johnson and Joseph Seiffert, Dr. Winifred Agaard, Director of Adult and Family Services Felicia Prescott, Dr.Nathan Brooks, banker Bob Chapman, and entrepreneur Handy Withers.
How fitting to have held the affair during Black History Month. Equally appealing was the choice of Lynchburg native and Richmond pastor and activist Dr. Owen Cardwell, Jr., as the keynote speaker. Owen is himself an historic figure, having been among the first brave African Americans to have attended E.C. Glass High School, in compliance with the 1954 ruling of the U. S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, striking down racial segregation in the public schools of this nation. Owen C. Cardwell, Jr., and Owen C. Cardwell, Sr., are among this city’s many civil rights pioneers depicted in “Lord, Plant My Feet on Higher Ground,” the noted painting by local artist Ann van de Graaf. Currently Owen is assiduously championing for rehab and other positive support services for the prison population and parolees.
Honored by the museum for their outstanding service were Aubrey Barbour, Stan Webb, and Gloria Franklin. The City of Lynchburg was recognized for its innovative Community Dialogue on Race and Racism.