Purcell to be honored by state advocacy group

Staff report

October 23, 2013

RALEIGH —A statewide children’s advocacy group has named former state Sen. William R. Purcell among its honorees this year.

Action for Children North Carolina will present its Shining Star Award, which honors individuals whose outstanding dedication and commitment to child advocacy have made North Carolina a better place to be and raise a child, to Purcell and four others on Nov. 6 at the North Carolina Museum of History.

Honorees were selected by a panel of judges consisting of business leaders, public policy professionals and child well-being experts.

“The Shining Star Award is a wonderful opportunity to honor individuals committed to child well-being in North Carolina while also celebrating Action for Children’s 30 years of changing children’s lives in our state,” said Deborah Bryan, president and chief executive officer of Action for Children. “Child advocates are so often unsung heroes; this award is a small way to recognize them for their big achievements on behalf of North Carolina’s children.”

Purcell, a retired pediatrician and former Laurinburg mayor, served in the N.C. General Assembly for 15 years before declining to run again in 2012. Action for Children will recognize him for his priorities while serving in the state legislature, including sponsorship of such policies as universal vaccination, child nutrition standards in North Carolina schools, eliminating second-hand smoke in bars and restaurants, age limitations for ATV operators, and the bicycle helmet law.

Established in 1983, Action for Children N.C. has worked to ensure that children in North Carolina are healthy, safe, well-educated, and provided with opportunities for success. The organization was founded by the state legislature to fill a gap in impartial data and research on the well-being of the state’s children children.

Also named as award winners were former state Sen. Linda Garrou, Families Supporting Families of Halifax County Executive Director Doris Mack, and N.C. Board of Education John Tate and wife Claire, past Chair of the North Carolina Child Care Commission.

“We are proud to honor this distinguished group of child advocates,” said Alan Stiles, chair of Action for Children’s board of directors and senior vice president for network development and strategic affiliations at UNC Healthcare System. “These honorees have worked hard to enrich the lives of North Carolina’s children at both the community and state-levels. They serve as role models and exemplars of dedication and leadership.”

For more information about the Shining Star Award or Action for Children’s 30th anniversary reception, call 919-834-6623 ext. 235, or visit