Roll Out the Red Carpet
“Roll Out The Red Carpet” was the theme of this year’s Nan Ashford Awards Banquet held on May 10, 2018. The staff at Palmer Home did just that – they rolled out a red carpet (literally!) and transformed the dining hall in the historic Lindamood Building into a fancy and festive banquet. Complete with crisp white tablecloths and helium balloons in gold, black and red, the room took on an air of sophistication and pride. The students donned new clothes and mingled among the 140 guests comprised of students, staff, houseparents, sponsor families, biological family members, local pastors, and friends. The room was abuzz with excitement and laughter as students and guests took turns in the photo booth and enjoyed red carpet themed sweets like Golden Globe Gumballs and Red Carpet Licorice Ropes.
The glamorous evening was a time of reflection and celebration. President and CEO Drake Bassett opened the evening with words of welcome and a prayer of blessing. Students clapped and cheered for their peers as Elective Awards were given for accomplishments in the Riding Program, Physical Education through the YMCA, and the TrebleMakers Choir. Next, fifteen students received Youth Recognition Awards. House dads from each of the five cottages at Palmer Home recognized three students in the areas of Academic Effort, Cottage Spirit, and Spiritual Growth. After that, students received Academic Awards for Honor Roll and Highest Grade Point Average in lower and upper elementary, middle school, and high school.
The celebrations were far from over! The Trophy Awards were presented next starting with the Fine Arts Award. This recipient was recognized for her outstanding achievements in gymnastics on her traveling squad and for her participation in music. The Community Service Awards were given to a boy and girl who volunteer with the children’s ministry at their church, serve in the nursery, help with vacation Bible school, and volunteer at a local nursing home, playing bingo with residents and planting flowers to brighten the landscape. Leadership Awards were bestowed upon students who displayed great integrity and leadership skills.
One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of the Miss and Mr. Congeniality Awards. Unlike the other awards which were determined by staff, teachers, and house parents, these awards were voted upon by peers. Miss Congeniality was recognized for her positive attitude, humility, kindness, nurturing spirit, and academic diligence and excellence. Mr. Congeniality received his award and made the room laugh with his spin move and enormous smile. Lynn Atkins, Director of Operations for the Columbus Campus, congratulated Mr. Congeniality after the award ceremony saying, “I am so proud of you!” His priceless response warmed her heart and summed up the evening in just a few words as he said, “Miss Lynn, I’m so proud of me too!”
Lastly, Drake presented the Scholarship Awards to two very deserving students. The Ronny V. Knox Memorial Scholarship Awards and the President’s Scholarship Award will be applied toward higher education and will allow students to pursue their dreams. As Drake closed the evening with a powerful and inspiring message, students and guests listened intently, sitting tall with heads held high and hearts full of joy, excitement and pride.
“What matters most is that you try…So many people never move forward because they don’t make the attempt. What pleases me most is that all of you are taking steps, day by day, to improve, learn more and experience new things. You will not always succeed, but you will accomplish more than most simply because you are overcoming your fears and choosing to step forward. Nothing from your past will hold you back if you continue to embrace challenges and move forward. Yes, we are proud of your test scores and achievements, but most of all, we are proud of your willingness to move forward – to take risks and believe that anything is possible. Well done!”
The red carpet is reserved for special occasions and noteworthy individuals – it was the perfect theme for this memorable night of celebration and inspiration at Palmer Home For Children.