28th Annual Olender Awards Honor Unsung Hero, Generous Heart, Peacemaker


The Jack and Lovell Olender Foundation honored several people of varying degrees of fame but all consistent doers of good, Dec. 1, in the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center.

The Unsung Hero Award was received by the “The Real-Life Butler” Eugene Charles Allen represented by his son Charles Allen. It was presented by Wil Haygood who first wrote about the butler and maitre’d who served eight presidents of the United States and by Sheila Johnson who headed the financial group that produced and financed the movie The Butler which is showing across the U.S. and Internationally. Johnson was co-founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television).

The Olender Foundation grant in honor of the Allens was made at Charles Allen’s request to two programs at Cardozo High School which he attended in the early 1960’s. When the award was presented, he was accompanied on stage by the principal of Cardozo, Dr. Tanya Roane, Shirley McCall, director of Transtem Academy, and Shelly Karriem, director of Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo Education Campus.

The Peacemaker Award was presented to Sargent Shriver, the founder of the Peace Corps, represented by his son Mark Shriver who wrote the bestselling book A Good Man about his father and follows in his footsteps. The award was presented by Colman McCarthy, Sargent Shriver’s speechwriter and close friend, who received the same award in 1995.

The Generous Heart Award went to Beverly Perry, retired vice president of Pepco and the chairman of the board of the African American Civil War Memorial. The grant in her honor went to the African American Civil War Memorial and she was accompanied on stage by Dr. Frank Smith, founder of the memorial and former D.C. councilmember. The presentation was made to Attorney Perry by Rep. James Clyburn and Kim Keenan, general counsel of the NAACP. Re-enactor Civil War soldiers escorted the singing group “Colorz” who led the entire theater of 300 attendees in “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Six law students from Howard University and six from UDC Dave Clarke Law School received the Earl H. Davis Award and scholarships for their success in the study of law and their dedication to public interest law. 

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