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|The National Excellence in Parenting Awards are presented each year to outstanding parents by the National Parents' Day Council. The 2009 national recipients have been honored at special events in each of their states.|
NORBERTO AND PURIFICACION
Norberto (Bert) and Purificacion (Ciony) Caoili immigrated to the United States over 40 years ago from the Philippines, when Bert was recruited by Boeing to work on the Supersonic Transport (SST) aircraft program. Their daughter, Monica, was one year old at the time; their son, Norbert, was born one year later. The parenting skills of the Caoilis were made evident through the rearing and the accomplishments of their two children.
Both Norbert and Monica graduated from Kent-Meridian High School as Valedictorians and as Governor’s Scholars, earning scholarships. Both spent one year abroad while in high school; Norbert in Japan and Monica in Costa Rica, which gave them the great advantage of cross-cultural experience and personal confidence. Monica later graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Washington and Norbert followed the next year with a degree in Political Science and Communications. Surprisingly, Norbert’s career turned to his deep love for music and singing. He created a number
of bands, which led to his first musical
video, “Mystery Girl” that became a top 5 finalist in the “King 5
Evening Magazine’s Home Video” Contest. In 1992, Norbert won first place
in the Deradex Asian Model Look Search. In 1993, he won the “Mr. Asia
Washington” title. And the next year, he captured the “Mr. Asia Pacific
International 1994” title.
Meanwhile, Monica married a pastor, Don Evans. They bought a church for their congregation in Spokane, WA. and are now raising their two sons and daughter there. Norbert also married, to Jin Luceno, and at present they have two daughters.
In 1995, after 36 years as a Senior Mechanical Engineer, Bert retired from Boeing.
It was from then that Bert and Ciony became extremely busy. They had always been involved in community affairs, but now it was like a second career. Of course, helping raise their 5 grandchildren was and is a big priority. Their “2nd career” has been filled with accomplishments. During Bert’s 10-year stint as President of the Filipino Community of Seattle, the new Filipino Community Center was built, for which he was personally recognized by Governor Cristine Gregoire in a public ceremony. In 2007, Bert was named “Lion of the Year” and now serves as the President of the Seattle Bituin Lions Club. Both Bert and Ciony have traveled to the Philippines for each of the last 5 years to help build homes for the poor in the “Gawad Kalinga” (Giving Care) Program. Also, both attend weekly Bible Study sessions and sing in the Choir at the Community Center.
The Caoilis have proven to be a great inspiration for their children, their grandchildren and the larger communities of Washington and the Philippines. Their example of selfless giving has been inherited and practiced by 3 generations, and provides the solid basis for their receiving the 2009 Excellence in Parenting Award.
|GORDON AND DAWN DOUGLAS of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania|
Gordon and Dawn Douglas of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania have been presented the 2009 National Excellence in Parenting Award by the National Parents’ Day Council.
Gordon and Dawn have been married for nearly 30 years and have been blessed with 5 beautiful children. In addition to these five, the Douglases have added to their modest home, an astounding 14 other children! The beginning of this giant family is itself an astonishing story. After their marriage, doctors told the Douglases that they would not be able to have children of their own, for physical reasons. Inspired by the biography of Keith Green, they began taking in other children, 3 at a time. (Some of these children had behavioral problems; two were under house arrest at the time of their adoption!) During that time, God also blessed them with 5 children of their own, which was supposed to be “impossible”.
The Douglases see all of this as a supreme example of God’s sense of humor. And having a sense of humor is very important for associating with the Douglases because Gordon is not only the owner of a therapeutic design and construction company (creating custom made equipment for the disabled) and a practicing minister, he is also a renowned comedian. He has performed his comedy act in many venues across the nation, including Hollywood,,,,and also from many pulpits. Gordon’s comedic heroes are Red Skelton and Bill Cosby and his style follows theirs, especially of mixing real-life stories with “off the wall” physical comedy. By the time that he gets to the serious points of a given sermon, he has captured the full attention of his audience. With genuine humility, honesty and passion, Gordon often weaves life lessons from the things he’s learned in the often painful events in his life that include some tragic deaths, Dawn’s victorious battle with cancer and his father’s many years of confinement to a wheelchair.
Their unique home, filled with the antics of 19 children, also provides him with plenty of humorous material, mixed with serious moments. Gordon and Dawn are a dedicated team when it comes to raising the children. While Gordon is often away with his various efforts, Dawn is the commander of the home ship. Amazingly, as the kids have gotten older, she now holds down a full time job as well. She supports Gordon in his role as the Chairman of the Pastoral Board of the Delaware County Pregnancy Center; a role he has fulfilled for the last 20 years. The Douglases have also gone on mission trips to Haiti to help the poor there. They send comedy DVDs along with essential supplies to the Merry Heart Ministries, which serves American men and women in uniform in foreign lands.The Douglas children testify strongly to their parents, citing their sterling attributes of compassion, selfless service to others and faith in God. For those who know the family, the home filled with joy, growth and love is proof enough of why Gordon and Dawn Douglas are worthy recipients of the 2009 National Excellence in Parenting Award.