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Peace Corps Associate Director Helen Lowman will speak at once-in-a-lifetime JFK exhibit

Clay DeStefano
San Marcos native Helen Lowman to speak at once-in-a-lifetime JFK exhibit
SAN MARCOS, TX – One of John F. Kennedy’s first and most influential accomplishments as 35th President of the United States was working with Congress to create the Peace Corps, which has sent more than 200,000 volunteers to serve in underdeveloped countries since 1961.
Today San Marcos native Helen Lowman is the Peace Corps’ associate director for the Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection, previously serving as the regional director for Europe, Mediterranean and Asia operations. In November, Lowman will return to San Marcos to speak at a once-in-a-lifetime JFK exhibit.
Remembering Camelot through the Lens of Jacques Lowe - the Private Collection of Frank Harvey will provide three separate opportunities to catch a glimpse into the years that are treasured as a pivotal time in American history, the most comprehensive of which will take place on Saturday, November 16, at Embassy Suites Hotel, Spa & Conference Center in San Marcos.  Lowman, who once served as the San Marcos High School mascot, will share her inspiring story at the event, which will benefit True Vineyard Ministries, a local non-profit that shares Kennedy’s vision to provide aid to hurting nations.
“As a graduate of San Marcos High School it is always an honor to be able to return to my hometown for any reason,” Lowman said. “The Remembering Camelot event is especially important to the Peace Corps as it honors our founder, President John F. Kennedy. In that way, the event is a wonderful merging of so many things that have been integral to my life.”
According to Lowman, the Peace Corps has worked with the same three goals for its entire 52 year history: help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
“It is through these goals that Peace Corps works to help the people of underdeveloped nations at the grassroots level,” Lowman said. “Through the transfer of knowledge, ideas, experience and skills, people from all walks of life foster greater understanding between countries and cultures.”
True Vineyard Ministries in San Marcos shares the fundamental values of the Peace Corps by reaching out to poverty-stricken Rwandan widows and empowering them through work-based solutions. One of the ways True Vineyard helps to suppress Rwandans’ hunger and lack of means for basic necessities is through its Handspun Hope Program, which provides resources to help women raise sheep, shear them and dye the wool for local textiles. The ministry also sells popular gifts including, jewelry, textile handbags, housewares and other hand-made items in The Vineyard Marketplace, a fair trade boutique that is located at 317 W. San Antonio Street in San Marcos.
“Research reveals that investing in women in developing countries is essential in achieving broader development goals,” said Diana Wiley, founder of True Vineyard Ministries. “By providing jobs, education and encouragement to women who each have an average of four to ten children, they will be more likely to instill those values in future generations.”
Wiley launched her ministry after hearing a heartfelt testimony at her church that touched on Rwandan widows who were left behind in the tragic 100-day genocide in 1994, when nearly a million people were murdered. Some of the widows are rape survivors, suffering from HIV/AIDS and/or mothers to multiple children.
Proceeds from Remembering Camelot will benefit True Vineyard’s ministry while giving the audience a true taste of an important American period.
More than 80 images from the JFK era will be featured at the November 16 event, as well as more than 30 unique artifacts, including the lead car from JFK’s inaugural parade, all from the collection of Kennedy collector Frank Harvey. Besides Kennedy-era inspired hors d-oeuvres and specialty cocktails, a unique silent auction will provide a chance to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rwanda, guided by Wiley.
For those who cannot attend the Camelot reception and full exhibit, the following two opportunities will offer additional chances to view pieces of Harvey’s collection.
Oct. 1 – Nov. 9 - FREE
Texas State University’s Alkek Library
·         Preview showing of a limited portion of the collection on display
Sunday, Nov. 17 - $25
Embassy Suites Hotel, Spa & Conference Center in San Marcos
·         A public viewing of the photography portion from the collection
Tickets to the full exhibit on November 16 cost $250. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit