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2009 Awards Ceremony

Kidsí Chance of Arkansas is a program designed to provide scholarships to dependent children of workers who have been killed or left permanently and totally disabled by job-related injuries or illnesses that are covered under the Arkansas workersí compensation laws.

On July 23, 2009, the Kidsí Chance of Arkansas Awards Ceremony was held at the Governorís Mansion in Little Rock, AR. First Lady Ginger Beebe greeted the 2009 scholarship recipients, families, sponsors and guests. She spoke briefly to the group, welcoming them to the Arkansas Governorís Mansion and encouraged those attending to explore the mansion.

Bill Zihala, Board Member and President of Kidsí Chance of Arkansas, gave a brief history of the scholarship program and introduced the Board of Directors.

Watson Bell, Ex Officio Board Member and Chairman of the AR Workersí Compensation Commission, served as guest speaker for the event. Mr. Bell was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe to be Chairman of the Arkansas Workersí Compensation Commission effective January 15, 2009, for a six-year term. Mr. Bell has been a practicing attorney in Searcy, Arkansas for over thirty years; served as a City Court Judge, Juvenile Court Judge, District Court Judge, as well as other appointments in the Arkansas Court System. Mr. Bell presented the recipients with emotional words of encouragement, overcoming personal obstacles and pride in success.

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the 2009 Kidsí Chance of Arkansas sponsors. The realization of a college diploma for some would not be possible if not for generous sponsors. KC would like to thank Steve Strange, Sr. and Steve Strange, Jr. of American Management Corporation, and their family, for their continued support and generous contributions to this worthwhile scholarship program. For a full listing of this yearís Kidsí Chance sponsors, return to the Kidsís Chance main page and click on Sponsors.

Each year, five scholarship recipients are asked to speak at the ceremony. They not only share about the tragedy that has touched their lives, they share about their dreams for the future. Recipient speakers this year were Holly Gibbs, Richard Hudson, Jr., Amanda Lemay, Hannah Vines and Landan Sullins. (For a full list of recipients and a short bio of each, return to the KC main page and click on 2009 Recipients.)

The young people that apply for KC scholarships each year are all seeking help with funding their education. However, a scholarship is not the only thing they receive. They are given encouragement by the fact that a group of people can see their potential and want to invest in it.

"All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should
have an equal opportunity to develop our talent."

President John F. Kennedy

2009 Scholarship Recipients

Top Row: Caleb Craig, Richard Hudson, Landon Sullins, James Westerman, Michael Horn

Middle Row: Linzey Stacy, Mallory Siedschlag, Amanda LeMay, Kaylee Thompson

Bottom Row: Holly Gibbs, Michelle McElroy, Hannah Vines, Deanna Hudson, Vanessa Daniels, Kristen White