For Immediate Release: 05/09/07
Civil War Preservation Trust Announces Winners of 2007 Preservation Awards
(Washington, D.C.) - At its annual conference in mid-April, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) announced the winners of its 2007 Preservation Awards. The awards were created to honor individuals and organizations for their exemplary dedication to the cause of Civil War preservation.
"We are engaged in a struggle to save America's Civil War legacy," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Without the kind of commitment displayed by this year's recipients, many Civil War sites will be little more than a memory within a few years."
The Preservation Awards were presented during a banquet at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel in Portsmouth, Virginia on Saturday evening, April 21. During the ceremony, Lighthizer stressed the need for cooperation among preservationists, and stated that he was proud to recognize a few of CWPT's many partners with these awards. Among the partners recognized this year were members of the U.S. and Virginia legislatures, the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, the Richmond Battlefields Association, Friends of Cedar Mountain and No Casino Gettysburg.
Over the years, CWPT has honored a wide variety of individuals and groups for their work to preserve endangered Civil War battlefields. Previous winners include historians, celebrities and even residential development firms. Despite such disparate backgrounds, all have made unique and lasting contributions to historic preservation.
The 2007 award winners are:
Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award: CWPT's highest honor was awarded to Jack Ackerly, Vice President of the Lee-Jackson Education Foundation of Virginia and a member of the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. Ackerly has long been involved in the preservation movement, and was one of the founders of CWPT. Most recently, he helped save 422 acres at the McDowell Battlefield (Highland County, Va.).
Shelby Foote Preservation Legacy Award: The Preservation Legacy Award is generally given to members of the business community for exceptional contributions to battlefield preservation. This year's award goes to C. T. Hill of SunTrust, for his role in enabling CWPT to purchase the Slaughter Pen Farm on the Fredericksburg Battlefield.
Carrington Williams Battlefield Preservationist of the Year Award: This award, named after the first chairman of CWPT, was presented to Susan Star Paddock of No Casino Gettysburg. Mrs. Paddock led the grassroots effort that successfully derailed plans to build a slots parlor near the Gettysburg Battlefield.
National Leadership Award: The National Leadership Award is presented to policymakers who have made significant contributions to preservation on the national level. This year awards go to Congressmen Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), for their support of the federal Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program and for forming the Congressional Battlefields Caucus.
State Leadership Award: The State Leadership Award is presented to policymakers who have made significant contributions to preservation on the state level. This year awards go to President Pro-Tempore of the Senate John Chichester, Speaker of the House of Delegates Bill Howell, Senator Edd Houck and Delegate Joe May for the creation of the Virginia Civil War Historic Site Preservation Fund, a state-level matching grant fund designed to aid nonprofit sector preservation enterprises.
Brian C. Pohanka Preservation Organization of the Year Award: This year's Brian C. Pohanka Award went to two outstanding groups warmly supported by the late historian: the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust and Richmond Battlefields Association. The two groups were recognized for their unprecedented contributions to the Slaughter Pen Farm and Glendale Battlefield acquisitions.
National Park Service Preservationist of the Year Award: This award for outstanding NPS personnel, was awarded to historian Terry Winschel of Vicksburg National Military Park. Winschel has been key to CWPT's preservation efforts throughout the western theater, most recently at Champion Hill, Mississippi.
Preservationist Teacher of the Year Award: Every year, CWPT recognizes an outstanding teacher who motivates students to become involved in battlefield preservation. This year, CWPT recognized John Camardella of Mt. Prospect High School in Illinois, for involvement in the campaign to prevent a slots parlor at Gettysburg.
Civil War Discovery Trail Site of the Year Award: For years, the all-volunteer Friends of Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County, Virginia have worked tirelessly to clean up and restore the battlefield. Thanks to their efforts, the site is one of the most memorable along the Civil War Discovery Trail.
Reenactment Unit of the Year Award: In recent years, CWPT has begun recognizing the most preservation-friendly reenactment groups in the nation. This year, CWPT awarded the 17th Michigan Regiment for its financial contributions for battlefield preservation in 2006.
Civil War Roundtable of the Year Award: Few Civil War Roundtables in the nation can compete with the Civil Roundtable of Chicago for its commitment to excellence and battlefield preservation. The Chicago roundtable is also one of the nation's oldest, founded in December 1940, and has donated considerable money to CWPT and other organizations for battlefield preservation.
With 70,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our country's remaining Civil War battlefields. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 24,000 acres of hallowed ground nationwide. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.