The John Avery Whittaker Award

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2016-John Avery Whittaker Award2.jpg

The John Avery Whittaker Award is a yearly award, first held in 2015. People "nominate" others to win a prize who have played a important role in their life, similar to John Avery Whittaker, such as a Sunday School teacher.

2015 Award

The submission deadline for the 2015 contest was October 31, 2015. Beginning November 1st, every day a new winner of a prize pack containing "Taking the Plunge" and a DVD of a film entitled "Beyond the Mask". The Grand Prize Winner, TBA November 20th, will win a $500+ of Focus on the Family resources as well as an Odyssey Adventure Club membership.

Date Nominee Entrant Reason for nomination
November 1 Rev. Fesser Hargrove Kelly "Despite a rough home life, my first pastor was there for me; he's a major reason my faith is strong today...He took children and their questions seriously realizing the importance of helping them make connections between what was going on in their lives to what the Bible says about it."
November 2 Eldon Babcock At 74, he has spent a lifetime pointing kids to Jesus creating camping sticks for kids and putting on puppet shows.
November 3 Dave Henderson He has faithfully led AWANA at his church for 22 years and enjoys teaching 4th and 5th grade boys!
November 4 Barbara Hedges She is still serving strong at the young age of 89! She volunteers at her community Senior Citizen Center twice a week and also at her church.
November 5-7 Rita Maszczynski, Esther Sumner and John Scherer Sunday School teachers for pointing kids to know and love Jesus!
November 8 Martin C. Campbell Elianna He taught Elianna to "Cowgirl Up" and take the high road in life.
November 9 Jay Hamilton Mary "Never Give Up" is a phrase that he has lived by. "He has done every possible job that came his way from milking 120 cows to learning how to be an assistant to a master electrician when his family needed to depend on him."
November 10 Mother of Nisa Fuller Nisa Fuller A mom who adopted [Nisa Fuller] to be apart of their forever family.
November 11-12 James Merrell, Elizabeth Apodoca Sharing "Whit" qualities with those around them.


2016 Award

The submission deadline for the 2016 contest was October 31, 2016. Beginning November 1st, a new winner of a prize pack containing $35 worth of Adventures in Odyssey products including "Album 61: Without a Hitch" was picked daily. The Grand Prize Winner, Coach Larry Stuckey, won $500 worth of Focus on the Family resources including a 1-year Adventures in Odyssey Club membership.

Date Nominee Entrant Reason for nomination
November 1 Mary McLaurin Mary McLaurin who has a heart for teaching and discipling kids. Mary leads by example and shows the kids practical ways to live out their faith in Jesus Christ. Just like Whit, Mary finds teachable moments to grow the kids in her care.
November 2 Coach Larry Stuckey Carri Dekkers Coach Larry Stuckey has coached track and field. Just like Whit, Coach Stuckey is always a source of encouragement and support, with an amazing heart for others.
November 3 Mike Burton Mike is described as a teacher who is joyful, patient and kind - a model of Whit in children’s lives!
November 4 Jennifer Arnhold Mrs. Jennifer is a piano teacher who models Whit by being a godly mentor to her young students.
November 5 Joshua Baxter Joshua Baxter, a father and solider committed to spending as much time with his family as possible. Every night, Joshua reads scripture to his children to help them grow stronger in their faith.
November 6 Terry Franklin Terry Franklin, a selfless friend and mentor who serves others with kindness and love. Terry volunteers in her community at homeless shelters and teen outreach centers and encourages others to partner with her.
November 7 Mary McLaurin Mary McLaurin who has a heart for teaching and discipling kids. Mary leads by example and shows the kids practical ways to live out their faith in Jesus Christ. Just like Whit, Mary finds teachable moments to grow the kids in her care.
November 8 Chris Bumgarner Chris Bumgarner, or Mr. B as his students call him, a devoted choir teacher. Mr. B is a valuable asset to his community who actively reaches out to help those around him and continues to invest in his students' lives long after they leave his class.
November 9 Joanne Mueller Joanne Mueller, a beloved mentor and friend. Mrs. Mueller disciples those younger than her with gentleness and kindness and encourages them to get closer to Jesus.
November 10 Tammy Smith Tammy Smith, a woman who is passionate about teaching others about God. Her contagious excitement gets all the children she teaches eager to learn about Jesus.
November 11 Brian Disney Brian Disney, a man with a big heart for the Lord and a deep love for kids. His wisdom, generous spirit and the way he prays constantly for others make him someone worth imitating.
November 12 Roddy George Roddy George a Sunday School teacher who mentors and pours into his students long after they leave his class. He is a positive influence who encourages kids to make wise choices and follow God wholeheartedly.
November 13 Dr. Charles W. Dunn Dr. Charles W. Dunn, a positive role model and committed man of God. Charles loves studying God's Word and shows others what it means to live a life devoted to the Lord.
November 14 Julie Halbgewaches Julie Halbgewaches, a brave woman whose faith inspires everyone around her. The way she remains positive and trusts in God while battling cancer encourages others to get closer to Jesus.
November 15 Lou Chapman Lou Chapman a Sunday School teacher who has an incredible impact on her students. In the face of health problems and personal difficultly, Lou continued to be a faithful servant and share God's love with the kids around her.
November 16 Walter McIntyre Walter McIntyre, a valued friend and mentor. Walter models what it means to love others and truly listen to them.
November 17 Melisa Riffle Melisa Riffle, a loved and greatly appreciated Sunday School teacher. She prays for her students, teaches them God's Word and supports them through difficult times.
November 18 Richard Balkin Richard Balkin a faithful pastor who has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to full time ministry. His example has inspired others to love God and become fellow ministers of the Gospel.
November 19 Christine Peloquin Christine Peloquin, a mother committed to raising her children to follow Jesus. Christine demonstrated for her kids what it meant to walk with God on a daily basis and remain faithful even during tough times.
November 20 Charles Kuhn Charles Kuhn, a man known for the way he loves others and models Christ. Charles is an amazing storyteller and serves the people around him through a variety of roles including Sunday School teacher, camp counselor and mentor.
November 21 Milton Earl Newton Milton Earl Newton, a minister who has faithfully served his congregation for 65 years and has led hundreds of people to Christ.

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