By DANIEL PUCKETTE
Appomattox native Ora McCoy received a Humanitarian Award from the Lynchburg Chapter of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities last Wednesday.
The Humanitarian Awards honor individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
McCoy said she was honored to be recognized as a recipient of the award.
She currently serves as the Business Manager for the Carver-Price Alumni Association.
Her parents George and Elnora Scruggs inspired her wide array of community involvement when she was a child.
“When I was a young person my family was involved in community center work, I followed in their footsteps. They would help others get firewood and whatever they needed,” she said.
Last year McCoy served as the co-chair of the Carver-Price Legacy Museum Sesquicentennial Committee.
The committee was involved in the creation of the “Footsteps to Freedom” program with the National Historical Park that honored Hannah Reynolds, an enslaved woman who died from her wounds on April 8, 1865.
“This was the first time in the National park Service History that such a program was created,” she said.
After graduating from Carver-Price in 1960, McCoy attended Central Virginia Community College at took courses at Virginia Tech.
She began a career in postal work in 1968, and was appointed Postmaster of Appomattox in 1975, where she was the first woman and first black Postmaster in Appomattox County History.
While serving on the Appomattox County School Board between 1986 and 1994, she worked to integrate the Falling River Country Club.
“Almost all School Board members were members of the country club. But many of our students could not go there to golf or play tennis. What message was that showing our students?” she said.
McCoy has been married to her husband Edward since 1961, and they have two sons, Edward Jr. and Michael.
She was joined by family and friends at the award dinner as one of four to receive the award in the Lynchburg area this year.
The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities provides workshops and retreats to schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success by addressing prejudices in order to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust.