Nominate Your Hometown Hero for the Great Friend to Families Award by March 3 at the Children’s Playhouse

Published Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 11:53 am

Great Friend to Families logo general

Feb. 17, 2015. Here is a wonderful way to say thank you. Do you know someone who loves kids, cares about parents and caregivers, and who has worked for years to make the High Country a better place for families? You have until March 3 to nominate that person for a Helping Hands or Helping Hearts award presented annually by The Children’s Playhouse.

In addition, for the first time this year, The Children’s Playhouse will also be recognizing young people up to age 17 who are already making a difference for families in their community with a new award, the Young Hearts award.

The award winners in each category will be honored on Saturday, March 21 with food by presenting sponsor, Over Yonder, and held at the High Country Home Builders’ Plaza.  The winners in each category will be chosen by a distinguished committee of local leaders.

Nomination forms can be filled out online at The Children’s Playhouse website,, or by stopping by the children’s museum at 400 Tracy Circle, Boone. All nominations must be submitted by March 3.  For more information, call 828-263-0011.

Presented by The Children’s Playhouse, the 7th annual Great Friend to Families award recognizes sustained contributions by individuals to the well-being of young children and their families in the High Country.  Awards will be given in three categories, Helping Hands (those who help families through their careers) and Helping Hearts (those who help through philanthropy or volunteerism), and, new in 2015, the Young Hearts (young people up to age 17 who have already made significant efforts outside their own family to help children and families in the High Country). Overall winners in each category will be further recognized as the 2015 Great Friends to Families.

The adult Great Friends to Families award-winners (one Helping Hand, one Helping Heart) will be announced at the luncheon and will be presented with pieces of local art and $200 each to donate to the High Country nonprofit of their choice. The overall Young Heart winner will receive a gift certificate and $100 to donate to the charity of their choice. All nominees  in all three  categories will receive individual recognition at the luncheon.

The Children’s Playhouse stipulates that outstanding individuals who have been nominated in any category in year’s past may be nominated again as long as they have not yet won the overall award. The overall awards may only be won once.

Playhouse Executive Director Kathy Parham says this is a great way to say thank you to someone who has made a difference for families: “It might be a teacher, doctor, nurse, coach, social worker, philanthropist, or volunteer.  When you think of helping families, who pops into your mind? Don’t you think that person deserves some recognition?”

The museum is excited about the new Young Hearts category:  “A couple of years ago we had a young nominee, Madison Welch, who was eight at the time and who was already doing amazing things on behalf of the homeless,” Parham explains, “and it made us think wouldn’t it be great to seek out and celebrate these young leaders and helpers of the future along with the adults?”

 “We are so excited to see who will be nominated in every category,” Playhouse Board President Rhonda Russell states, “their stories are always so inspiring.”

This is the seventh year the awards have been given. Past over-all winners include Kaaren Hayes, Judith Winecoff, Pat Morgan, Dick and Joan Hearn, Trish Lanier, and Jim Atkinson. A complete list of all past honorees is on the museum’s website.

The luncheon will also raise funds to support family resource services at The Children’s Playhouse, enabling the children’s museum to provide scholarship memberships to low-income families, offer more programs for children, and improve their exhibits.

About The Children’s Playhouse

A nonprofit children’s museum founded in 2002, The Children’s Playhouse provides an enriching play environment for children from birth to age eight while at the same time offering parents and caregivers friendly support in the important job of raising children.      It is located at 400 Tracy Circle near downtown Boone.  Daily admission is $5 per person plus tax. A one year Playhouse Passport Membership for $125 includes admission to The Playhouse and half-price admission to more than 150 children’s museums nationwide. Scholarship memberships are available for families that meet income guidelines. The Children’s Playhouse is supported in part by grants from the Barnickel Foundation, the Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation/The Kennedy-Herterich Fund, the Town of Boone, and donations from individuals and community groups.  For more information, call 828-263-0011, like it on Facebook (, or visit the website,



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