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Koop, Marlee Matlin Win Awards for Public Service

June 21, 1988 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin were among 10 people who received Jefferson Awards for public service Tuesday.

They were honored by the American Institute for Public Service at an annual ceremony held in the Supreme Court building.

Koop was unable to attend the ceremony because of a prior commitment to address the National Parent Teachers Association in Salt Lake City, Utah.

His wife, Betty, who accepted the award for him, noted that he was talking about the disease AIDS.


The American Institute for Public Service, which awarded Koop its top honor for work by a public official, praised him for promoting ″straightforward educational programs to apprise the public about AIDS.″

Miss Matlin, who is deaf and won an Oscar for her portrayal of a young deaf woman in the movie, ″Children of a Lesser God,″ used sign language to express her appreciation for her award, which was for public service by someone 35 or under.

″I always dreamed of being able to help others as I have been helped. It’s a wonderful world and I’m happy to be part of it,″ she said.

Also honored were James W. Rouse, a building developer who runs a foundation in Columbia, Md., that provides affordable housing, and Father Bruce Ritter of New York City, founder of Covenant House to help homeless and abused children.

Rouse was given an award for greatest public service by a private citizen and Ritter won an award for public service benefiting the disadvantaged.

The institute gave awards to the following for public service benefiting local communities: Joanna and James Chappell, founders of the Banyon House, a shelter for drug addicts and alcoholics in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Peter Frazza, a disabled former police officer who runs the National Disabled Law Officers Association in Nutley, N.J.; and Lola T. Martin, head of a literacy program in Hempstead, N.Y.

Also, J.T. Pace of Mauldin, S.C., who learned to read and write at 62 and has become a national spokesman for literacy, and Amy Marie Windom, a high school student in Richmond, Va., who tutors students and helps run a local chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving.