by Bob Biondi
The Jane Craft Washington Park
Good Neighbor Award has been presented
annually since 1996, when Craft, the longtime director of Senior Services for
the Washington Street Community Center, was the inaugural recipient.
that year as a civic activist and community leader, Craft continues to be
honored each year as the award is presented to an individual whose efforts best
exemplify Jane’s commitment to improving the well-being of the community.
Craft’s honor 13 years ago, the award has recognized Joe Morgan (former owner
of Morgan Liquors), State Representative Wayne Knox, Washington Park Profile publisher Paul Kashmann, State Senator Dottie
Wham, Denver City Councilman Doug Linkhart, businessman Ron Schumacher,
educator J. Joe Craft, State Representative Andrew Romanoff, City Councilwoman
Kathleen MacKenzie, and longtime neighborhood activists Jim and Charlotte
Winzenburg, and Gertie Grant.
2009 Jane Craft Washington Park Good Neighbor Award will be presented to victim rights advocate Joe
Cannata, in a special tribute ceremony to be held on Thur., June 4,
5:30-7:30p.m., at the Washington Street Community Center, 809 S. Washington St.
and his wife, Kaye, were the owners of Belaire Cleaners, 1581 S. Pearl St. for
31 years, before selling the business in 2007. Since that time the Cannatas
have devoted 100 percent of their time to Voices of Victims, the non-profit
organization they founded that offers post-sentencing support and advocacy to
victims of violent crime and their families.
Cannata has been working on victim issues since 1987, when his daughter Lynn
was murdered by her then-boyfriend. Cannata has been instrumental in having a
trio of victim rights laws passed, including “Lynn’s Law” – named for his
daughter – which requires violent offenders to serve 75 percent of their
sentence before being eligible for parole.
his years as a South Pearl Street business owner, Cannata was very involved in
a variety of merchant association activities, from the once-yearly South Pearl
Street Fair, to shepherding completion of sweeping streetscape improvements in
the 1980s and 90s.
to the June 4 tribute event cost $25 per person. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will
be served. All proceeds benefit the programs of the Washington Street Community
Center. For information, call 303-733-4643 or visit www.wscc-denver.org.