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Shultz, Perot, 15-Year-Old Twins To Get Public Service Awards

June 23, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Secretary of State George Shultz, Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot, philanthropist Eugene Lang and homeless rights advocate Robert Hayes are among Americans to be honored Tuesday with Jefferson Awards for outstanding public service.

The awards ceremony, scheduled to take place in the East Conference Room of the U.S. Supreme Court, honors 10 public and private citizens selected by the American Institute for Public Service.

Shultz is being honored for his ″dedication and performance″ as secretary of state.

″Secretary Shultz brought a spirit of cooperation and calmness to the State Department, and quickly became an influential team player with the Cabinet and in working with the White House staff,″ the institute said.

The institute praised Shultz for, among other things, drafting a Middle East plan including Jordanian oversight of the Palestinian homeland problem, playing a key role in arms talks at Geneva and the Reagan-Gorbachev summit last November, and for initiating a public campaign against terrorism.

Perot, who formed Electronic Data Systems in 1962 and became a billionaire some six years later, is to be cited for his ″patriotic spirit.″

He made an unsuccessful attempt to fly to Hanoi in December 1969 with Christmas packages for American POWs in Vietnam and also is known for large contributions to such causes as the Boy Scouts.

Most recently, he headed a Texas commission seeking education reform, including the controversial ″no-pass, no-play″ rule barring failing students from football and other extracurricular activities.

Lang, founder of REFAC Technology Development Corp., is a philanthropist who gained national attention five years ago when he promised an entire graduating class of sixth grade Harlem students to pay their college tuition if they stuck to their studies and graduated from high school.

Hayes, a former Wall Street lawyer, obtained a consent decree in 1979 requiring New York City to provide clean, safe shelter for any homeless man seeking it, a right later extended to homeless women. In 1982, he formed the Coalition for the Homeless, which runs a camp for homeless children and feeds hundreds of people daily.

The four national award winners will receive $5,000 and a gold-on-silver medallion.

Six others are to be honored for outstanding public service benefiting local communities.

Sharing one of the local awards are Sonya and Tanya Witt, 15-year-old twins from West Palm Beach, Fla., who have raised money and done volunteer work on behalf of migrant and immigrant children. Last Christmas, they mowed lawns and did other odd chores to raise money to give holiday gifts to Mayan children.

Therese Dozier, a Vietnamese waif rescued from starvation by an American couple 30 years ago, came to the United States and became the 1985 National Teacher of the Year. A world history teacher at Irmo High School in Columbia, S.C., she has spoken extensively about the value of public education.

Philip Viall is to be honored for developing and producing communications systems for severely disabled, non-vocal individuals. He helped establish the SHARE Foundation at Southeastern Massachusetts University, which has provided custom-made computerized communications systems to more than 30 profoundly disabled persons in southern New England.

Fannie Royston, 66, was described as a one-woman relief agency in Pittsburgh’s South Oakland neighborhood. Growing up in a sharecropper’s cabin in Georgia, she moved to her current neighborhood in 1963 and was appalled at the mess. She swept streets, and children began to help her. Soon she was helping solve neighborhood problems: keeping people from being evicted, starting lunch programs, getting teen-agers out of jail and helping them find work.

Ruby Calloway, a practical nurse in Atlanta, was nominated for her work in drug and alcohol awareness. She is co-founder and president of CASCADE, the Comprehensive Auxiliary for the Southwest Community on Alcohol and Drug Education, a six-year-old community organization. Last year, Mrs. Calloway conceived the idea of a ″Just Say No″ walkathon, an idea that spread to more than 40 cities.

Local Jefferson Award winners receive $1,000 and a gold-on-silver medallion.

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