Carl M. Cappa was presented with the 2000 John D. Hamilton Community Service Award at a recognition dinner held at the Athenaeum Hotel at the Chautauqua Institution on Thursday, June 8. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation presents the award annually to one individual in recognition of their dedication, leadership and support in furthering community spirit and enhancing the quality of life in the Chautauqua region.
Carl was born and raised in Jamestown. The oldest child in a poor family, he graduated from Jamestown High School, enlisted in the Army and served in World War II.
Upon returning to Jamestown, Carl enrolled in a training program at the Crawford Furniture Manufacturing Co. He did so well there that the owner soon made him the head of Employee Relations. By 1968, he had risen to the level of President of Crawford’s, and he eventually bought the company in 1983.
A prominent businessman and employer, Carl has served on the board of directors for the American Furniture Manufacturing Association and as president of both the Jamestown Manufacturer’s Association and Moon Brook Country Club.
He has also been involved with a number of local organizations, including the Jamestown Community College Foundation, the Jamestown Boys and Girls Club, Lakeshore Savings Bank, Fleet Bank and the WCA Hospital Board of Directors.
Carl is one of the founding members of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation in 1978, serving on its board of directors until 1981. He is also the founder of the Cappa Family Fund, administered by the Community Foundation, which helps support the operations of the St. Susan’s Soup Kitchen.
Currently, Carl may be most recognized for his support of The Resource Center Foundation, which was established in 1995 to help support the needs of persons with disabilities in Chautauqua County. A member of the original board of directors, he currently serves as its chairman.
With his help, the TRC Foundation established a charity golf tournament to raise monies for the foundation’s endowment. The tournament, named the Carl Cappa Golf Classic in recognition of his support and dedication, has raised over $220,000 in its three years of existence.
“It is an honor, for both the Community Foundation and myself, to present the 2000 John D. Hamilton Community Service Award to Carl Cappa”, stated Randy M. Ordines, President of the Community Foundation. “Carl’s generosity, leadership and support of various organizations in our community are an example for all to appreciate. Without a doubt, Carl personifies the spirit of John D. Hamilton.”
The National Conference of Christians and Jews previously recognized Carl in 1985. In 1996, he received the Trillium Award from the American Cancer Society, that organization’s highest honor.
Carl and his wife, the former Catherine Defrancisco, have two children: Rosemarie Cappa Lindstrom and Michael Cappa. They also have four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.