The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities joins 2021 Humanitarian Awards Dinner Chair Richard Tugman (Centra) in thanking you for joining us to celebrate the humanitarian contributions of John S. Capps, Owen C. Cardwell, Jr., Mary G. Holmes, The Mitchell Sisters (Kathryn M. Drayton, Louise E. Mitchell, Violet O. Mitchell), Kay Vaughan, and J.P. Vaughan (posthumously).

Please use the buttons below or scroll down to learn more about the honorees, view a listing of the award’s generous sponsors, and check out the digital program.


Richard Tugman
Interim President and CEO

VCIC Greetings
Lisa M. Hicks-Thomas
Chair, Board of Directors
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

Community Update
Jonathan C. Zur
President & CEO
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

Master of Ceremonies
Noreen Turyn
Senior Anchor & Managing Editor

2021 Award Recipients
John S. Capps
Owen C. Cardwell, Jr.
Mary G. Holmes
The Mitchell Sisters
(Kathryn M. Drayton, Louise E. Mitchell, Violet O. Mitchell)
Kay and J.P. Vaughan

Jodi K. Gillette
Chair, Lynchburg Chapter
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

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Humanitarian Award Honoree

John S. Capps

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John S. Capps became the seventh president of Central Virginia Community College in 2011. Under his leadership, CVCC was a founding partner with Beacon of Hope to provide tuition-free community college to graduates of the Lynchburg City Schools, and the college has adopted open educational resources to help relieve students of the high cost of books. John was involved in establishing the Lynchburg City Schools Early College Program, the Great Expectations Program for foster youth, and the Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy. His board memberships have included the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, United Way, Goodwill Industries, the Lynchburg City Schools Education Foundation, the Central Virginia Workforce Development Board, and Beacon of Hope. John also serves as a trustee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Humanitarian Award Honoree

Owen C. Cardwell, Jr.


Owen C. Cardwell, Jr. is the Rosel Schewel Distinguished Chair of Education at the University of Lynchburg and co-director of the Center for Education and Leadership. Additionally, Owen serves as Pastor at Diamond Hill Baptist Church. As a teenager, he was one of the first African American students to desegregate E.C. Glass High School.  Among his many significant contributions, Owen was founder and executive director of the Heroes and Dreams Academy in Richmond, a service-learning based mentoring program for at-risk youth. At New Canaan International Church, which Owen founded over 25 years ago in Henrico, they welcomed inmates on work release from the local jail in a program now replicated nationally. He also co-founded the Family Restoration Network in Ashland, an organization designed to restore fractured families and reconnect incarcerated fathers with their children.

Humanitarian Award Honoree

Mary G. Holmes

calendar 2017 Holmes

Mary G. Holmes spent over 50 years serving the community as a Registered Nurse. She was one of the first African American nurses hired at UVA Medical Center in a Charge Nurse position, and one of the first African American nurses employed in the Central Virginia Health District. Mary also founded the Sickle Cell Awareness Association of Central Virginia, Inc., served as the first president, and she remains the current President. She also served a term as President of the Statewide Sickle Cell Chapter of Virginia Inc. Her other community service includes the Boards of Directors of The March of Dimes, the Heart and Lung Associations, and the Lynchburg College Community Health Advisory Board. She is a member of the Lynchburg NAACP and Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, serving as a Choir member, Church Clerk, Deaconess, and Church School Teacher.

Humanitarian Award Honoree

The Mitchell Sisters


The Mitchell Sisters (Kathryn M. Drayton, Louise E. Mitchell, Violet O. Mitchell) are the co-Founders of MDM Networking, Inc., which sponsored the “Pink Auction Luncheon”. This event was created to raise awareness in the community about breast cancer and to fund research. Over the last 17 years, the sisters have raised over $270,000 through the Auction which has been donated to education, research, and medical services for uninsured and underinsured women in the community. By partnering with Centra Mammography and Breast Imaging Services, they have been able to fund thousands of mammograms to local women who are uninsured or underinsured. The sisters have served the community in a variety of ways beyond MDM Networking, Inc. Louise served on the Lynchburg Youth Services Board, Miller Home Advisory Board, Miriam’s House Board, Lynchburg Storm Water Commission, and she presently serves on the Lynchburg Economic Development Authority Board of Directors. Violet is involved with The United Way, Legacy Museum and Africa House. Kathryn served as a board member of the American Baptist Council of Churches.

Humanitarian Award Honoree

Kay and J.P. Vaughan

JP and KK at AG

Kay and J.P. Vaughan are lifelong residents of Lynchburg. J.P. was very involved in coaching Little League football and baseball.  He also coached football at V.E.S. along with his “day job” at Forehand Realtors, Inc. Kay was an English teacher: first at Dunbar, then at E.C. Glass, and finally at Amelia Pride Alternative School. Since retiring in 2009, Kay has spent her time volunteering at the Awareness Garden and at E.C. Glass. She is most proud of the work she and J.P. have done with the Pink Game, The Wall of Excellence and the Hall of Fame. In all of these endeavors, J.P. and Kay were teammates. The Pink Game is now a tradition at E. C. Glass High School. Each sponsor donates $100 in honor of a loved one whose life was affected by cancer, and their “player” wears a pink jersey, proudly displaying the names of the honoree, with proceeds supporting the Awareness Garden.  J.P. passed away in 2020, and his award is being presented posthumously.

Humanitarian Level Sponsors

Benefactor Level Sponsors

Verna & Preston Sellers

Corporate Level Sponsors

Table Level Sponsors

Friends of E.C. Glass High School

Friends of Mary Holmes

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

• Bill and Ellen Jamerson

Johnson Health Center

Lynchburg Beacon of Hope

Lynchburg City Schools

• Lynchburg Jewish Community Council

 Moore & Giles

• Thomas and Ellen Nygaard

• Leslie and Kimball Payne

Pettyjohn, Wood & White, Inc. 

Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

Schewels Home

Scott Insurance

• Mike and Shannon Valentine

•  Lennis Preston Wade

Wells Fargo

Westminster Canterbury Lynchburg


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