26th Annual Arkansas Children’s Award
For 26 years, Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches has recognized Arkansans who have made outstanding contributions to create better opportunities for Arkansas children. These Arkansans personify in word and deed the ideals of the Ranch, and hundreds have gathered each year to pay tribute to their dedication at the Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner.
This year, we are excited to present the 26th annual Arkansas Children’s Award to the Heflin family.
The Heflins are long-time supporters of the Youth Ranches, and Sharon currently serves on our board of trustees. Sharon has also served on the organizing committee for the Arkansas Children’s Award for many years. Sharon’s late husband Johnny worked with many youth organizations throughout his life and also served on the Ranch board, where he was an instrumental member steering the Ranch’s strategic development in its formative years. Sharon has served on many other boards working on behalf of children, including Thea Foundation, Centers for Youth and Family, Women & Children First, and others. Like their parents, sons Jay and Marc are carrying on the Heflin family legacy volunteering their time, serving on boards, and raising funds for children’s missions like Easterseals Arkansas, the Heflin Youth Foundation, and P.A.R.K. The Heflins also support education funding scholarships at Ouachita Baptist University and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. We are honored to present the 2021 Arkansas Children’s Award to the Heflin family!
We will host the 26th Annual Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner on Wednesday, October 27 at the Little Rock Marriott Hotel. A reception will kick off the dinner at 6pm, and dinner and the program will begin at 7pm. Please consider sponsoring or supporting.
26th Annual Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner
Little Rock Marriott Hotel
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Reception 6PM | Dinner & Program 7PM
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will continue the tradition of serving as Master of Ceremonies, which he has done since our very first year.
You may sponsor a table with a gift of $2,500 and up. Additional sponsor opportunities with special recognition are also available. For more information or to pay by phone, call Matt Cleveland at (501) 940-3440. You may also pay with a check made payable to ASYR at PO Box 3964, Batesville, AR 72503.
Ways to Support
- Sponsor the event ($2,500 and up)
- Make a donation in honor or memory of a past honoree
- Make a one-time or monthly gift to the Ranch
Since the Sheriffs of Arkansas founded the Youth Ranches in 1976, it has been a place to call home for more than 2,200 of Arkansas’s most vulnerable boys and girls. As an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, ASYR is 100% privately funded, and this event helps raise 10% of the ASYR’s operating budget each year. Please consider sponsoring or supporting.
2020 25th Anniversary Arkansas Children’s Award
In 2020, we hosted a very special 25th Anniversary Arkansas Children’s Award as a virtual event to celebrate all of our past award recipients. The virtual event featured appearances by past honorees, sheriffs, a former Rancher, and special guests, and as always, was emceed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe. Click here to view the event on our YouTube page.
2019 Governor Asa Hutchinson
Governor Asa Hutchinson has led the way to better serve children who find themselves separated from their families. When he took office in 2015, one of his first priorities was to tackle the state’s foster care crisis. Since then, he has also made computer science and coding available to all Arkansas children, and he has worked to reform Arkansas’s juvenile justice system. He has truly helped create a brighter future for many of Arkansas’s most vulnerable children.
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 over 25 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. As a long-time supporter of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, Governor Beebe has been instrumental in its success of this event each year and has served as Master of Ceremonies for the Arkansas Children’s Award 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 some concerned sheriffs who had helped place boys in residential homes that were not providing satisfactory care. Their idea grew and now the children of Arkansas have a place to call home at 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, a third-generation cotton farmer from Marianna, had strong beliefs in family values, faith and a proper education that personified the standards on which the Ranch was founded. Reed served several terms as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau and was 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 celebrated life and the joy of family and friends each day. She was married to Willard Walker for 61 years, and in 1986 Pat and Willard created the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, touching the lives of thousands of Arkansas children. Mrs. Walker received numerous awards recognizing her philanthropy and was also 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’s 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 demonstrated a heart for children, which led her to make the well being of children and families a top priority. She was keenly aware of the growing need for quality childcare and assistance for working families to help their children thrive. Lincoln also worked to raise awareness for missing and exploited children and pursued the truth in child abuse investigations.
2002 Doyle Rogers
Doyle Rogers was 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. By 1985, 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 Family Foundation contributes thousands of dollars annually to colleges, universities and 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 and was recognized as one of the best-managed electric utilities in the nation.
1997 Red Hudson
James T. ‘Red’ Hudson was 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, was first elected to public office in 1982 in the Arkansas State Senate. In 2002, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General, the position he held until he was elected Governor of Arkansas in 2007. Beebe is a Democrat who while in office mainly focused on public education reform, healthcare, the state economy, and the environment.