Champions For children

Each year, we invite the community to nominate people, organizations, or businesses in Pierce County for the Champions for Children award. This award is intended to recognize those who have an extraordinary ability to make children and families feel encouraged, uplifted, and supported.

Nominees may include a dedicated volunteer, a grocery store employee, a family-friendly business, or a crossing guard who always goes the extra mile to show they care in unique and meaningful ways.

Champions are selected by the PCS Engagement Team, and
surprised awarded in a place and with people special to them.


Nominate a 2021 Champion!

Champions are all around us – volunteers, groups, businesses, mentors, friends, neighbors, and advocates. Do you know an individual, team, organization, or business in Pierce County who has an extraordinary ability to make children and families feel encouraged, uplifted, and supported? If so, nominate them today for the 2021 Champions for Children Award!

Past Champions

2020 Champions

Courtney Nolen-Viducich


Dorothy Gorder

Shannon Hansen

Shannon Hansen

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Andy Song

Norma Perdom Amalia Perez Turner Cagle Keisha Harris Gail Neal

Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center

2019 Champions

Derek Young

Early learning champion and legislative advocate.


Kelly Blucher

Fierce advocate for child care access and affordability.


Marti Cates

Thoughtful and loving teacher at A Step Ahead supporting families of infants and toddlers with special needs.


The Pod Works & Kayla Schroader

Founded by the visionary, Kayla Schroader, a working space dedicated to “Mompreneurs”.


Laura Lee Bentle

 Dedicated Pierce County CASA Coordinator and Advocate.

2018 Champions

Allegra Gassert-Deman

Dedicated YWCA volunteer with the Little Learners program.


Maureen Sorenson

Executive Director of Amara and leading social advocate for children in foster care.


Red Elm Cafè

Jennifer, Sarah and Adina created a cafè where children are welcomed as part of their community.


Judge John Hickman

A leader at Pierce County Juvenile Court for the innovative Best for Babies/Baby Court.


Sally Mednansky

Integral to the successful implementation of Best for Babies/Baby Court.

2017 Champions

John Briehl

A leader and integral part of the Children Services Network, Pierce County’s first early learning coalition, awarded at the 2017 Champion for Children Celebration.


Vera Brokenshire

Lil Reader volunteer, awarded at Lil Reader Celebration.


Grocery Outlet at 56th St.

Brian Mack- Grocery Outlet store owner, awarded at Customer Block Party celebration.


Peggy McCloud

Director at Grandview Early Learning Center, awarded at staff meeting.


Dr. Sherwin Shinn

Dental Director at Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children, awarded at Lindquist all staff meeting. Learn more about his story here. 

2016 Champions

Holly Bamford Hunt

Director of the Bamford Foundation, awarded at 2016 Champion Recognition Event.


Bruce Dammeier

Washington State Senator, awarded at 2016 Champion Recognition Event.


Lolita Estrada

Raindrops & Rainbows manager, awarded at Blue Star Families event. Watch Lolita’s Early Learning Champion KBTC video here.


Ellen McCracken

Spanaway Lutheran Preschool director and teacher, awarded at Spanaway Lutheran Church.


Brianna Rommel Howell

Bethel High School student, awarded at Bethel School Board meeting.

2015 Champions

Helen Myrick

Community Activist, awarded at Project Child Success Partnership Meeting. Watch Helen’s Early Learning Champion KBTC video here.


Neel Parikh

Former Executive Director of the Pierce County Library System, awarded at Tacoma Rotary 8 meeting. Watch Neel’s Early Learning Champion KBTC video here.


Brenda Rogers

Bethel School District School Board Member, awarded at School Board Meeting. Watch Brenda’s Early Learning Champion KBTC here.


Frank Hewins

Superintendent of Franklin Pierce School District, awarded at the School Board Meeting. Watch Frank’s Early Learning Champion KBTC video here.


Betty Renfro

Family Support Worker, awarded at Family Support Worker Meeting.