The John F. Kennedy Community Service Award is presented by the Santa Fe Family Life Center ("SFFLC") to recognize Oklahomans whose philanthropy has served Oklahoma in lasting and significant ways. The Lifetime Achievement recognizes individuals making a profound contribution.
John F. Kennedy ("JFK"), the 35th President of the United States, was a proud Knight of Columbus, passionately served others, and his sister, Eunice, was the founder of Special Olympics. Kennedy’s legacy of service to the nation has continued to this day. He was elected in 1960 and remains the only Catholic ever to serve as President. From Bunker Hill Council 62 of Charlestown, Massachusetts, Kennedy joined the Knights of Columbus in 1946 and became a 4th Degree Knight in 1954, fostering his central belief that service to the nation is the hallmark of being a good citizen.
In 1960, the word went forth to the world that the torch of freedom had passed to a new generation. President John F. Kennedy reignited that torch's flame by calling that generation to better their communities and dedicate themselves to the service of others. The President's words ring as true today as when he declared, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
John Kennedy challenged America to be its best—to reach deep within ourselves and far beyond our imagination to exemplify the highest ideals in our evolving society every day. JFK called upon Americans to serve in a cause greater than themselves, challenging us to go to the moon, to the Peace Corps, to college. He challenged us to change our world.
We refer to the JFK years as Camelot. For one brief, shining moment, we had our dream and our Sir Lancelot, fairest of all the knights. That was a special time in America, marked by its glory, as well as by its brevity. Today, the spirit of John Kennedy and those one thousand days of Camelot still resonate within our memories, reminding us...we can change our world.
Proceeds from the JFK Community Service Award dinner benefit the charitable programs offered at SFFLC, a nonprofit health and wellness center serving disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities located in Oklahoma City.
About the Award