Nominations now accepted for the 4th annual Great Friend to Families Award

Great Friend to FamiliesNow in its fourth year, the Great Friend to Families award is given annually by The Children’s Playhouse to recognize sustained contributions by individuals to the well-being of young children and their families in the High Country.

In 2012 for the first time, we will accept nominations in two categories: the Helping Hands and the Helping Hearts.

  • Helping Hands awards will celebrate professionals who over the course of their careers have shown extraordinary dedication to improving the lives of children and families.
  • Helping Hearts awards will recognize individuals who have touched the lives of children and families through generous philanthropy and/or outstanding volunteerism.

We will recognize up to eight award winners in each category at the luncheon at a luncheon on Saturday, April 21st and one overall winner will be further honored as the 2012 Great Friend to Families award-winner. The Great Friend to Families award-winner will be announced at the luncheon and will be presented with a piece of local art and $500 to donate to the High Country nonprofit of their choice. All Helping Hands and Helping Hearts award winners will be recognized at the luncheon.

All nominations must be submitted by Thursday, April 5th.  The award-winners will be selected by a distinguished committee of local leaders.

How to nominate your "Hometown Hero"

All nominations must be submitted by Thursday, April 5th

Click here for the nomination form in pdf format.

Click here for the nomination form in Rich Text Format (Word).

Buy a ticket to the awards luncheon.

Please find an application below in both pdf and Word formats.   Nominations may be submitted over email to or mailed to:
Great Friend to Families Award Committee, c/o Kathy Parham
The Children’s Playhouse
400 Tracy Circle
Boone, NC 28607

The winner will be chosen by a distinguished committee of local leaders

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, to offer low cost  parenting classes for community members, and to build its free lending library of parenting books and developmental toys.

Catered by Storie Street Grille, the luncheon will be from noon to 2 pm on Saturday April 21st StorieStreetGrilleat the High Country Home Builders’ Plaza (755 NC Hwy. 105 By-Pass in Boone).Tickets are $20 per person, of which $15 is tax-deductible.

About the 2011 Great Friend to Families Award

The joint winners of the 2012 award were Dick and Joan Hearn, community volunteers who have touched a wide variety High Country nonprofits ranging from the Watauga County Public Library "Reading and Rolling" program, to the High Country United Way, to the Guardian Ad Litem, and many more. The distinguished nominees were Caroline Bond, Kathy Cottrell, Shirlee Edwards, Eric Henderson, Denise Jones, Blowing Rock CARES (Trish Kohlasch, Linda Laughter, and Liz Tincher), Vicki Krueger, Beth Lawrence, Lee Marshall, Elaine Rothenberg, Lee Ryan, Chad Slagle, Donna Soule, Sherry Street Tobin, and Cheryl Williams.

About 2010 Great Friend to Families Award

The winner of the 2010 award was Pat Morgan, a longtime community volunteer who has read to children in local elementary schools for decades, organized many events benefitting families, and took rural children on trips to Washington D.C. Morgan designated that his award go to children's collection at the Watauga County Public Library. The twenty distinguished nominees in 2010 were Julie Bostick; Kim Carter, Ashley McKinney, and Laureen Vilas; Matthew Crawford; Angie Dolen; Shirlee Gaines Edwards; Susan Jones; Kaaren Hayes; Dick and Joan Hearn; Virginia MacLeod; Pat Morgan; Tammy Nelson; Carrington Pertalion; Denise Presnell; Susan Weinberg; Delores Wilder; Roberta Yates; and Joan Zimmerman.

About the 2009 Great Friend to Families Award

The first winner of the Great Friend to Families award was Watauga County Children's Librarian Judith Winecoff and she designated the $500 prize to go to the Hunger and Health Coalition. A total of sixteen local citizens--Cynthia Brown-Greer, Laurie Cimino, Lindsay Cobb, Doug Galke, Kaaren Hayes, Karen James, Natalie Lewis, Karee Mackey, Todd Nolt, Sherrie Norris, Jane Penley, Denise Presnell, Jan Rienerth, Robin Triplett, Mary Willis, and Judith Winecoff—were nominated for the first ever award presented by the Children’s Playhouse. Click here for an overview of the 2009 nominees.