On July 22, at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute honored distinguished philanthropist Bernard Rapoport, a long time Texas Farmers Union President's Council member, with the 2009 Franklin D. Roosevelt Distinguished Public Service Award. Roosevelt Institute Board Co-Chair Richard French said, "Bernard Rapoport is an inspiration to us all. He was named one of Fortune Magazine's 40 most generous philanthropists. He gave many people their first break, whether it was a local politician, or a student in need of a scholarship. He is an especially worthy recipient of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Distinguished Public Service Award." This year's award was presented by last year's Co recipients Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Attending from Texas Farmers Union was President Wes Sims, his wife Latria and grandsons Luke and Chase Sims from Sweetwater. Also attending were board members Gary Moore and wife Ann from Tulia, TX; Dennis Clower and wife Carol from Eastland, TX; Charlotte "Shorty" Miller and husband Billy from McGregor, TX; and members Val and Janet Vaughan from Waco, TX and Randy and Sarah Cook from O'Donnell, TX.
Ms. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Institute Co-Chair and granddaughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, reminded the group of the FDR Four Freedoms Award to be given on September 11, 2009 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, NY. On January 6, 1941, in one of the most important speeches of the 20th century, President Roosevelt proclaimed four freedoms essential to any flourishing democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Each year, a single individual is selected for this award which honors a lifetime of distinguished service and unwavering commitment to these freedoms. This year's honoree is Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
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