Introducing the 2019 Stand Tall Award Winners!

This year, Starr Commonwealth will be hosting the third annual Night of Starrs, an evening to celebrate and illuminate the greatness in all. At this event, Starr presents the Stand Tall Award to champions for children in our local communities, with previous winners hailing from Albion, Marshall and Battle Creek. We are proud to announce that on Thursday, April 11, we will be honoring Dr. Harry Bonner of Albion, Mich., Tom Franke of Marshall, Mich. and Kim Carter of Battle Creek, Mich. as the 2019 Stand Tall Award winners.

Dr. Harry Bonner is an Albion High School graduate who serves as the head of Substance Abuse Prevention Services, an organization in Albion dedicated to preventing and reducing substance abuse by youth in high-risk populations through community engagement. Substance Abuse Prevention Services also operates the Kids at Hope Youth Development Center, an organization that works to create an environment where all children can experience success. Through his leadership and service to his community and the children in it, Dr. Bonner received the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement in Community Service Award, the South Central Michigan Substance Abuse Commission Distinguished Service Award and an Albion High School Distinguished Alumni Award.

Tom Franke has been a driving force for the preservation and advancement of the Marshall community for decades. A key advocate for the Marshall Public Schools, Mr. Franke has helped to support and expand expressive arts programs and school safety initiatives within the district and has inspired and supported numerous scholarship funds throughout the years. His leadership was instrumental in preserving what is now the Franke Center for the Arts, a community gathering place where children and adults alike are inspired to discover their voice, share their talents and celebrate creativity. Mr. Franke currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Franke Center for the Arts, played an integral role in establishing the Marshall Community Foundation and remains committed to finding new ways to support the positive development of the community and youth of Marshall.

Kim Carter is a lifelong educator who now serves as the superintendent for Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS). In her role, she has lead with courage to find new and creative ways to support the growing needs of her students, teachers and community at-large. Her drive to create new pathways for success for students lead to the formation of the Bearcat Health Leadership Team, a cross-collaborative effort of community leaders to improve the behavioral health of Battle Creek youth. In addition, Superintendent Carter has been instrumental in bringing new investments to BCPS, receiving contributions from local foundations to ensure that every Bearcat student has a chance to achieve their greatness.

We are excited to honor these community leaders at our third annual Night of Starrs, and we hope you will join us on Thursday, April 11, 2019, as we present them with the Stand Tall Award. Tickets are available online at

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By Starr Commonwealth

About Starr Commonwealth

Starr Commonwealth is dedicated to the mission to lead with courage to create positive experiences so that all children, families, and communities flourish. We specialize in residential, community-based, educational, and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults, and families in communities around the world. To schedule a training or consultation, please contact or call 800-837-5591.