Governor Asa Hutchinson to Receive 2019 Arkansas Children’s Award

For 24 years, the Arkansas Children’s Award has been presented to outstanding Arkansans who have made a significant difference in the lives of our state’s children. This year, we are honored to present the 24th Annual Arkansas Children’s Award to Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Governor Hutchinson has led the way to better serve children who find themselves separated from their families. When he took office in 2015, one of Governor Hutchinson’s first priorities was to shine a light on the crisis facing our state’s foster care system. There were many more children needing foster care services than there were families and resources to meet the demand. Governor Hutchinson convened a summit to encourage communities of faith to work with childcare advocates to meet those needs, and he allocated more state funds to better serve foster children. Also, Governor Hutchinson made computer science and coding available in every high school in Arkansas, creating a generation of tech-savvy students and giving Arkansas children the opportunity to access the jobs of the future. And just this year, Governor Hutchinson signed a bill to reform our state’s juvenile justice system, which will help provide a brighter future for some of Arkansas’s most at-risk youth. These are just a few reasons why we are honored that Governor Hutchinson will receive this year’s Arkansas Children’s Award, and we hope you will join us at this year’s dinner!

24th Annual Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner
Little Rock Marriott Hotel
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Reception and Silent Auction at 6:00 pm
Dinner and Program at 7:00 pm
Business Attire

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will continue the tradition of serving as Master of Ceremonies for the dinner, which he has done since our very first year.

Tickets are $200 per person, or you can sponsor a table of 10 for $2,000. Additional sponsor opportunities with special recognition are also available. Tickets are now available, and additional sponsor opportunities with special recognition are also available. Click here to purchase your tickets, become a sponsor or make a donation to the Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner. All proceeds benefit the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. For more information about supporting the dinner or ASYR programs, contact Matt Cleveland at or (501) 940-3440.

Ways to Support

Since the Sheriffs of Arkansas founded the Ranch in 1976, ASYR has been a place to call home for more than 2,100 boys and girls. The Ranch serves some of Arkansas’s most at-risk children, and as a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, it is more than 90 percent privately funded. The Ranch provides all necessities associated with raising a child including housing, food, clothing, proper medical care and educational expenses. But more importantly, ASYR houseparents raise boys and girls in a loving home as if they were their own children. The funds raised by this dinner ensures the ASYR can continue this important mission.


The Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner is an annual event benefiting the programs at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. This special award recognizes an individual or organization who personifies in word and deed the ideals of the Ranch and has made outstanding contributions to create better opportunities for Arkansas youth.

Previous Recipients

2018 Dorothy Morris

Dorothy Morris has devoted her life to supporting the work of nonprofits serving children and has encourage millions in matching gifts. She believes in a holistic approach to philanthropy and focuses on children and families, investing in every aspect of a child’s life. Whether it’s inspiring a child through the arts, supporting their education or health care, or providing a home at the Ranch, we recognize her life’s work on behalf of Arkansas children.


2017 Greg Hatcher

For Greg Hatcher, outrageous service doesn’t end with his business at The Hatcher Agency. Greg is constantly giving back to the community through his service to and support of nonprofit organizations. Whether it’s developing new wrestling programs for high schools and colleges or contributing to organizations that serve children, Greg has always been willing to step up in support of strengthening Arkansas families.


2016 Deltic Timber & Ray Dillon

Ray Dillon served as President & CEO of Deltic Timber from 2003 to 2016. A vision of helping Arkansas grow and create stronger communities for our children and grandchildren were always at the forefront of Ray’s work with Deltic. They generously invested in organizations serving children, and Ray has also given his time and resources to make a difference in the lives of many Arkansas families.


2015 Larry Stone

Since Founding Stone Ward in 1984, Larry Stone has dedicated much of the company’s pro bono services to helping children. Larry has served on the ASYR Board of Trustees for 20 years, 10 of which he served as Board President. He has been a steady and consistent thought leader, donor and volunteer for the ASYR and played a major role in developing Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner.


2014 Governor Mike Beebe

Governor Mike Beebe has dedicated his life in public service to the citizens of Arkansas for more than 32 years. He is also long-time supporter of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. Governor Beebe has served as Master of Ceremonies for the Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner for 18 years and has been instrumental in its success each year since its inception.


2013 Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association

Arkansas’s county sheriffs have played an important role throughout the Ranch’s history and continue that support today.  The idea to begin the Ranch started with a couple of concerned and disappointed sheriffs who had helped place boys in residential hoes that weren’t providing satisfactory care.  Their idea grew and now the children of Arkansas have the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.


2012 Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn, former head football coach of Arkansas State University, is a great leader of young people. He has dedicated his career to mentoring young men and spends his time helping them reach their full potential. Malzahn’s dedication to youth is evident through his service to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and his everyday interactions with they young men on his teams.


2011 Steve Landers

Steve Landers, who built Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep into the highest selling Chrysler dealership nationwide, is the president of RLJ-McLary-Landers Automotive and an investor in operations in Brazil and China. Steve has supported the American Cancer Society, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Arkansas Education Association and numerous other organizations.


2010 Charles Nabholz

Charles F. Nabholz founded Con-Ark Builders, a merit shop, general contracting firm. After a move to California to pursue real estate Charles returned to Conway and founded Nabholz Properties, a commercial real estate development company, in partnership with his brothers. Nabholz currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Nabholz Construction Services and president of Nabholz Properties.


2009 Wallace Fowler

Wallace Fowler developed Fowler Foods, Inc. and Liberty Bank of Arkansas into two of the state’s most successful enterprises. Fowler – banker, entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader – has devoted his life to making Arkansas a better place to call home. Because of his generosity and dedication, our communities, education system, even the roads on which we travel, are better today because of Fowler’s efforts.


2008 Stanley Reed

Stanley Reed is a third-generation cotton farmer from Marianna, Arkansas, whose belief in family values, faith and a proper education personify the standards on which the Ranch was founded. Reed served several terms as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau and is a founding member of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, an organization that develops and implements programs for needy and underprivileged children.


2007 Tommy May

Tommy May was recognized for his extensive civic and community involvement that stretches across years of service.  Through his work with organizations such as United Way of Southeast Arkansas, Habitat for Humanity, and Fifty for the Future, he has touched the lives of many. May epitomizes the standards for which the Ranch is known, including family togetherness and unconditional love.


2006 John White

A native Arkansan, Dr. John A. White served as Chancellor of the University of Arkansas for eleven years. White was honored for his commitment to advancing educational opportunities, providing positive youth development and instilling the values of character, honesty, humility and responsibility, helping the young men and women of Arkansas become the successful leaders of tomorrow.


2005 Pat Walker

Pat Walker celebrates life and the joy that being with family and friends brings each day. She was married to Willard Walker for 61 years. In 1986 Pat and Willard created the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation touching the lives of thousands of Arkansas children. Walker has received numerous awards recognizing her philanthropy and has also been named one of the Most Distinguished Women in Arkansas.


2004 Jerry Davis

Under the leadership of Jerry Davis, Affiliated Foods Southwest became one of Arkansas’ largest privately owned companies. Over the years he donated millions of dollars, as well as countless hours of service, to a number of Arkansas charities. His generous philanthropic endeavors have supported people of all ages throughout Little Rock and Arkansas.


2003 Blanche Lincoln

As a former U.S. Senator, Blanche Lincoln has demonstrated a heart for children, which has led her to make the well being of children and families a top prioritiy- aware of the growing need for quality childcare and assistance working families need to work and help their children thrive. Lincoln has worked to raise awareness for missing and exploited children and the pursuit of truth in child abuse investigations.


2002 Doyle Rogers

Doyle Rogers- chairman and president of the commercial real estate firm, the Doyle Rogers Company. In 1982, he developed what is now the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. By1985 he built the 25-story Rogers Building, now the Stephens Building. Rogers is extensively involved with financial and investment decisions for major projects of the firm and its various partnerships as well as provides strategic direction.


2001 Tyson Family

In recent years, Tyson Foods has grown into the largest poultry, beef and pork processing company in the world with sales of over $25 billion dollars annually. The Tyson Foundation contributes thousands of dollars annually to colleges, universities and several charitable organizations throughout the state dedicated to at-risk children.


2000 Bill Clark

William E. (Bill) Clark was respected and beloved by his family, friends, peers, the business community and the people of Arkansas. The Clark and Dillard families created one of the South’s largest construction firms, CDI, of which Bill served as Chairman and CEO. Clark was well-known for his generosity and leaves a legacy of leadership, vision, integrity, candor and the ability to make things happen.


1999 Buddy Sutton

A life-long Arkansan, Buddy Sutton served as counsel for the prestigious law ­­firm Friday, Eldredge, and Clark for 46 years until retiring as managing partner in July 2005.  In 1990, the Arkansas Bar Association named him Lawyer of the Year, and he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for his business and personal injury litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Sutton proudly served his country in the United States Air Force.


1998 Jerry Maulden

Jerry L. Maulden was hired by Arkansas Power and Light Co. in 1965. He quickly rose through the ranks, serving as vice president, chief financial officer, and then treasurer. In 1979, he was named president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Power & Light, which was having severe financial problems at the time. Within five years, Arkansas Power & Light was headed in the right direction. Since then, it has been recognized as one of the best-managed electric utilities in the nation.


1997 Red Hudson

James T. ‘Red’ Hudson is the Founder of Hudson Foods, Inc.  He was born in Arkansas but was raised in Tennessee. He served more than three years in the United States Navy before beginning his career as a feed clerk in a feed store for Ralston Purina Co. in January 1946, immediately after his discharge from the Navy.  After working his way up to Regional Director of Operations, he began Hudson Foods in 1972.


1996 Mike Beebe

Mike Beebe recognized for his commitment to public service has been an Arkansas elected official since 1982 when he was elected to the Arkansas State Senate. In 2002, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General, the position he held up until he was elected Governor of Arkansas in 2007. Beebe is a Democrat who while in office has mainly focused on public education reform, healthcare, the state economy, and the environment.

2019 Youth Ranches Pumpkin Patch

Join the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches for the 3rd Annual Pumpkin Patch Presented by First Community Bank!

The staff and children at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches have been hard at work to transform the Ranch into a Pumpkin Patch for the second year!

Admission is only $10 and includes one pumpkin per visitor and free access to these fun activities: 

  • Barrel Train Ride
  • Hay Ride
  • Bouncy Houses
  • Petting Zoo
  • Corn Pit
  • Maze

We will also have face painting, cookie decorating, carnival games and more!

Our beautiful 600 acre campus offers many opportunities for beautiful fall photos with the whole family, and we’ll also have some fun photo spots set up for the kids!

Hours of Operation

October 1-30
Monday-Friday: by Group Reservation Only
Saturday: 10am – 6pm and Sunday: 1pm – 6pm
For weekday reservations, call 870-793-6841, ext 300 or email


Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch
100 Saint Vincent Place, Batesville
The Ranch is located just west of Batesville, near the community of Bethesda out Highway 106. Follow highway signs to Arkansas Sheriffs Ranch down Earnheart Road and turn right onto Saint Vincent Place for parking.


  • $10 Admission per visitor available at the gate, includes 1 pumpkin and access to all activities.
  • Children 2 years of age and younger are FREE.
  • For weekday groups and groups of 20 or more, please make a reservation by calling 870-793-6841, ext 300 or email
  • Credit and debit cards are accepted.
  • Concessions are also available for an additional charge.

And the best part? 

All net proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch benefit the mission of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, which provides safe, healthy, and loving homes for Arkansas children.  You can also support the ASYR by making a one-time gift or set up a monthly contribution by clicking here.



Presenting Sponsor

Activity Sponsor

  • FutureFuel
  • Littlefield Oil Company
  • Precise Heating & Air
  • Southern Bank

Patch Supporters

  • Bank of Cave City
  • Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Greenway Equipment
  • White River Now
If you would like to support this event by becoming a sponsor, please contact Matt Cleveland at 501-940-3440 or