Advocates of the Year

Advocating for kids

The Kids at Heart lunch began as the Children’s Circle Advocacy Luncheon in 2001. From the beginning, the mission was to raise funds to support our region’s children’s hospital and to advocate for the children of the region.

We’re proud to have recognized an impressive group of individuals and organizations through the years.

Previous winners are:

advocate award recipients


2020: Coeur d’Alene Police Department

Larry Gardner, Principal of the Spokane County Juvenile Detention School and Structured Alternative to Confinement School
Vinetta MacPherson, The Native Project
Heidi Wehde, Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office
West Coast Window Cleaning

2019: Mark Iverson, Adoption Attorney

Maggie Rowe, Andrew Rypien School Program at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital
Inland Northwest Ace Hardware Dealers
Karen Elmendorf, RN
Alvin (Fritz) J. Wolff, Jr, The Wolff Company
James Carson, MD (posthumously)

2018: Molly Crumet, Providence Pediatric Social Worker

Linda Stone, The Children’s Alliance
Dr Judy and Denis Felgenhauer
KXLY Extreme Team & Mark Peterson
Jackson Lino, World Relief Spokane
Dr. Paul Thorne, Providence Pediatrics
Larae Wiley & Chris Parkin, The Salish School

2017: Pam Austin, Native American Educator

Rebecca Bates, Passages Family Support
Freda Gandy, MLK Jr Family Outreach Center
Dr. Michelle Messer, Pediatrician
Rosey Thurman, Team Child
Dr. A. Christopher Olson – Pediatrician

2016: Dr. Michael Donlan, Retired

Officer Teresa Fuller, Spokane Police Department
Dawn Sidell, Northwest Autism Center
Dr. Frank Reynolds
Karen Winston, Partners With Families & Children
Bouten Construction

2015: Dr. Hrair Garabedian & Dr. Pam Burg, Camp Beats & Rhythms

Peg Hopkins, CHAS
Dr. Ken Kapstafer
Sue Manfred, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery;
Dr. Mark Paxton
Kalispel Tribe of Indians

2014: Dr. Deb Harper

Toni Lodge
Peggy Mangiaracina
Washington Trust Bank
Dr. Betty Fry Williams

2013: Mark Rypien, The Rypien Foundation;

Lisa Brown, WSU Spokane;
Dr. Robert Piston, Spokane Guilds’ School and Group Health;
Circle of Security

2012: Bill Bialkowsky, Founder, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery;

Teresa Forshag, MSN, ARNP, Valley Young People’s Clinic, Partners with Families & Children;
Mary Ann Murphy, Executive Director, Board of Children’s Advocacy Centers;
Avista Corporation

2011: Dick Boysen, Spokane Guilds’ School & Neuromuscular Center
2010: Marilee Roloff, Volunteers of America
2009: Paul and Janet Mann, The Children’s Ark of Spokane
2008: Dr. Alan Hendrickson, Spokane Pediatrician