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Deborah Knapp celebrates 30 years at KENS 5

The connection that Deborah Knapp shares with the KENS 5 viewing family is long and deep.

The connection that Deborah Knapp shares with the KENS 5 viewing family is long and deep.

During her 30 years at KENS 5, Deborah has a rich history of investing her time and talent with a host of good causes.

Many of the dedicated people who have worked alongside Deborah for years wanted to share their pride and joy in this important milestone with their good friend.

We asked friends to summarize what Deborah means to them, and to their causes, in just one word.

It was a challenging request.

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said that some of his initial thoughts were: loving, compassionate and friend, but he ultimately chose the word “charitable.”

The archbishop said that Deborah has devoted countless hours to many campaigns related to her faith.

“Besides working on some projects regarding Catholic Charities, she has helped with programs regarding our Catholic television station, and also she has been quite involved in the old Missions,” Garcia-Siller said. “And she has been very generous, very kind, and very easy, very easy to work with.”

Garcia-Siller said that he believes Deborah has a genuine quality that resonates with viewers. He said that the gracious person he watches on television is, in fact, very gracious off screen as well.

“There are difficult situations, and she has to communicate those situations through the media. But I have seen her sometimes moved to tears. And other times, I just, I watch the news and I know how, knowing her, I know how she is feeling inside, and she does it with a lot of love and compassion,” he continued.

The Archbishop called Deborah a woman without guile.

"Though she is a beautiful woman outside too, the inside is a jewel. It's a jewel. It's a precious jewel," he said.

Garcia-Siller added that, besides a deep and abiding friendship with Deborah and her mother, he is glad that they have shared a commitment to prayer during the course of their six-year friendship.

“It has been established over the years and so we keep each other in prayer, constantly,” Garcia-Siller said.

At Communities In Schools, Deborah has served in many roles over many years. CIS helps at-risk students stay in school and helps their families succeed in life. From board member to mentor to recognition ceremony hostess, Deborah has even been known to volunteer her family members to help the group as well.

"She's been a great supporter in many, many different ways for CIS. And we've really appreciated everything she has brought to our agency. So it was hard to come up with one word, but in the end our word is ‘extraordinary,’" said Jessica Weaver, the group’s chief executive officer. "The smile that she brings to everyone, every day, that we see. Hopefully, when she sees the words that we've given her, that it will bring a smile to her heart.”

At the Boy Scout Alamo Area Council, Michael De Los Santos filled an entire page with tributes, but the one word he chose above all others is ‘loyal,’ because Deborah has served the organization for many years.

De Los Santos went on to say that Deborah is the embodiment of the Boy Scout Law, which is: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

"She's been great for the community and to our youth in our programs. She's a great role model for everybody in San Antonio," De Los Santos said.

Catering icon Rosemary Kowalski, 92, of the RK Group has been sharing her Catholic faith with Deborah and her mother for about 30 years.

“I feel honored to be one of those selected to put my word down,” said Kowalski, who added that she knows Deborah is a hard worker because they have served together on many projects over the years. "Yes! She's faithful, but she is faith full.”

Kowalski also said that it has been a pleasure to watch Deborah grow as a great mother to her children, and now grandmother to her daughter’s growing brood.

"What's my one word for Deborah Knapp? Ageless! She's the best,” said longtime friend Susan Reed, a former judge and district attorney for Bexar County.

Reed said that she is proud of Deborah’s unwavering commitment to building a better community as well as being a terrific friend.

KENS 5 colleague Sarah Lucero chose the word ‘giving.’

"Deborah is the most giving person I have met, at KENS and just about anywhere,” Lucero noted. “She will do anything for you, any time. No matter if she's here, across the world, Deborah is always there to lend a helping hand and share her knowledge with you.”

KENS 5 Digital Producer Javi Perez said that he grew up watching Deborah, and both he and his family have enjoyed sharing their lives with Deborah.

"My word is ‘institution!’ My family has been watching KENS 5 for decades. And when I told them I worked at KENS 5, I got asked about Deborah,” Perez said.

KENS 5 Operations Manager Jan Rigby wrote “One-of-a-kind.” When challenged about writing four words instead of one, Rigby asserted that his choice was a good one because he included hyphens.

KENS 5 reporter Justin Bourke came up with the newsroom’s favorite response, hands down. He wrote GOAT, which stands for “Greatest Of All Time.”

Sports anchor Vinnie Vinzetta added “perfect” to the list.

"Our business can be kind of gritty, but she always keeps it classy!” co-anchor Jeff Brady added.

Now it’s your turn KENS 5 family. What’s your one word for Deborah Knapp?