Kansas City, Missouri-based , the oldest major veterans organization in America, has honored philanthropist Lois Pope with its 2001 James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award in appreciation for her generous financial contributions to young people who serve the disadvantaged.
Mrs. Pope is the founder and chairwoman of Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for families in need and to encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others, and the Florida-based Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. In addition, Mrs. Pope is a founder of the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, which is dedicated to erecting a permanent memorial in Washington, D.C. to honor disabled veterans.
The James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award — named for the former U.S. Congressman and VFW commander-in-chief — is presented annually to an individual or group in recognition of significant contributions to American citizenship. Past recipients include former presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford; former secretary of education William Bennett; and Pfizer, Inc.