Action for Children NC awards Shining Star to those with commitment to child advocacy in the state

Press release from Action for Children NC

RALEIGH–Action for Children North Carolina today announced winners of the Shining Star Award which honors individuals whose outstanding dedication and commitment to child advocacy have made North Carolina a better place to be and raise a child. Honorees were selected by a panel of judges consisting of business leaders, public policy professionals and child well-being experts.

Award recipients will be honored at a reception on Wednesday, November 6, at the North Carolina Museum of History. The event is hosted by Action for Children, and is open to the public by reservation.

“The Shining Star Award is a wonderful opportunity to honor individuals committed to child well-being in North Carolina, while also celebrating Action for Children’s 30 years of changing children’s lives in our state,” said Deborah Bryan, president and chief executive officer of Action for Children. “Child advocates are so often unsung heroes; this award is a small way to recognize them for their big achievements on behalf of North Carolina’s children.”

The 2013 Shining Star Award recipients are:

Senator Linda Garrou retired after serving seven terms in the North Carolina Senate representing the people of Forsyth County. During her service in the North Carolina General Assembly, Senator Garrou worked to promote critical investments in K-12 education, child care, health insurance for children of working families and financial aid for higher education. Senator Garrou served as the Guardian Ad Litem Administrator for Winston-Salem, and was the founding board chair of the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute, now known as Action for Children North Carolina.

Doris Mack is executive director of Families Supporting Families of Halifax County, a system of care network designed to strengthen families with children who have mental, emotional and behavioral needs. A lifelong educator and committed advocate for children in Halifax, Mrs. Mack provides academic and cultural enrichment opportunities to students year-round promoting art, drama, dance and academic excellence. Mrs. Mack has also served as chairwoman for various groups such as the Halifax County Schools Adolescent Health Council, the Littleton/Lake Gaston Festival and the Halifax County Human Relations Commission.

Senator William R. Purcell, MD is a retired pediatrician who served in the North Carolina General Assembly for 15 years. Before serving in the legislature, Dr. Purcell was mayor of Laurinburg, North Carolina. A respected medical leader, Dr. Purcell has sponsored multiple public policy initiatives that have improved the health and safety of children and youth in North Carolina including: universal vaccines, child nutrition standards in North Carolina schools, eliminating second-hand smoke in bars and restaurants, age limitations for ATV operators and the bicycle helmet law.

John and Claire Tate have been a “dynamic duo” dedicated to improving the lives of children in Mecklenburg County and the state for more than three decades. While pursuing a career as a banker, Mr. Tate has found time to serve on numerous education leadership groups, including Communities in Schools, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education and currently the State Board of Education. Mrs. Tate was instrumental in beginning the Lakewood Preschool Cooperative and Larry King’s Clubhouse, is past Chair of the North Carolina Child Care Commission and is currently serving in her 14th year as a member of the board of directors of the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool. Mrs. Tate has recently retired as Executive Director of Partners in Out-of-School Time.

“We are proud to honor this distinguished group of child advocates,” said Alan Stiles, MD, chair of Action for Children’s board of directors and senior vice president for network development and strategic affiliations at UNC Healthcare System. “These honorees have worked hard to enrich the lives of North Carolina’s children at both the community and state-levels. They serve as role models and exemplars of dedication and leadership.”

For more information about the Shining Star Award or Action for Children’s 30th anniversary reception, please contact Beth Williamson at or (919) 834-6623 ext. 235. For details, to purchase tickets or view sponsorship information visit

About Action for Children North Carolina
Since 1983, Action for Children has worked to ensure that children in North Carolina are healthy, safe, well-educated, and have every opportunity for success in life. The organization was founded by the state legislature to fill a gap in impartial data and research on the well-being of North Carolina’s children. Action for Children is home of the North Carolina KIDS COUNT project and a member of Voices for America’s Children. To learn more, visit

Action for Children North Carolina is a leading statewide, nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that North Carolina children are healthy, safe, well-educated and have every opportunity for success. For more information, visit

Follow Action for Children North Carolina on Facebook at or Twitter @nckidscount.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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