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Great Friend to Families Awards March 22

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Mar. 12 | Modified: Mar. 23
Great Friend to Families Awards March 22

Nationally syndicated radio personality and author Sheri Lynch will speak at The Children’s Playhouse’s Great Friends to Families Awards luncheon March 22.

Photo submitted

Don’t turn that dial.

For its sixth annual Great Friend to Families Awards ceremony, The Children’s Playhouse is featuring nationally syndicated radio host Sheri Lynch as keynote speaker.

As co-host of the Charlotte-based “Bob and Sheri Show,” Lynch is heard on more than 50 radio stations throughout the U.S. Although most commonly recognized through her voice, Lynch is also gaining renown through the pen, as she’s authored a couple humorous accounts on family-raising.
The High Country can hear some of those firsthand at The Children’s Playhouse’s annual event, set for March 22, from noon to 2:30 p.m., at Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education, located off King Street in Boone.

“Sheri Lynch is known for her humor, but she is also a passionate advocate for children and families,” Children’s Playhouse executive director Kathy Parham said in a news release.

The Great Friend to Families Awards recognize High Country residents who, too, are advocates for children and families, with 13 individuals being recognized at this year’s ceremony.

Awards will be given in three categories: Helping Hands, who help families throughout their careers; Helping Hearts, who help through philanthropy or volunteerism; and the overall Great Friend to Families.

This year’s Helping Hands award-winners are Jennifer Grubb Warren, Ned Fowler, Mark Freed, Karen Hayes, Tiffany Minton, Todd Mortensen and Bobbie Willard. Helping Hearts are Fred Abernethy, Sarah Griffith Hawkins, Rebekah Gyger, Meggan Knight, Elizabeth “Libba” Moore and Jan Rienerth.

The overall winner will not be announced until the ceremony, when he or she is presented with a framed photograph by Dwight Miller and $500 to donate to the local nonprofit of their choice. The winner is chosen by a committee of local leaders, including 2013 winner Jim Atkinson, Sara Mayhew and Kay Stacy.

Other past recipients include Judith Winecoff, Pat Morgan, Dick and Joan Hearn and Trish Lanier, and a complete list of all past honorees is available at the Playhouse website. According to Parham, Helping Hands or Helping Hearts honorees may be recognized multiple times, but can only win the overall award once.

Tickets to the Great Friend to Families Awards ceremony can be purchased online at or in person at The Children’s Playhouse, located at 400 Tracy Circle in Boone. For more information, call (828) 263-0011.

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

The 2014 Great Friend to Families Awards ceremony is sponsored by the Reich College of Education, Mast General Store, Blue Ridge Electric and the Transcendental Meditation Center of Boone. Food and refreshments come courtesy of Earth Fare, the Mast Farm Inn, Panera Bread and Espresso News.
For more information on The Children’s Playhouse, visit

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