Delivering Smiles and Awarding Trophies: Time to Celebrate Our Latest Winner!

Knitting the world a better place

Trophy Central is thrilled to announce the latest trophy winner for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award.  Let’s all collectively clap for June Sayali, founder of JuneBee Baby!  (If Tinkerbell can spring back to life from universal clapping, surely June can feel our collective cheering for her through this blog, right?!)

June’s shiny new trophy reads “The Knitting a Better World Award: Helping the Earth & Female Artisans While Giving Babies and New Moms Comfort”.

Congratulations, June! Your smile is OUR reward.

Congratulations, June! Your smile is OUR reward.

Congratulations, June!  And thank you to previous Show Us Your Suetrophy winner Jill Cofsky for nominating June. Jill wrote to Trophy Central to say that June is trophy-worthy because she’s “incredibly kind, supportive of mothers and her female artisans and worked hard to create her own earth-friendly, handmade baby clothing line.”

Awarding kindness with custom engraved trophies - Winner JuneBee Baby

Ear-to-Ear Smiles

When Team Trophy Central wrote to Jill, a voice actor and elementary school teacher who won our Random Acts of Trophy-ness award for “Excellence in Teaching and Inspiring Students” to thank her for her nomination and to tell her that June had won, she had this to say:

“I’m so glad that I can help you by nominating some amazing trophy-worthy friends for you to deliver smiles to!!! I hope you realize how much your act of kindness means to them and ME!! Not only did I have the honor of receiving one of your awards but I’ve had the opportunity to see the wonderful photos of the reactions of several of my amazing friends after receiving theirs, too!! Then *I* smile ear-to-ear all over again because I’m so happy for them!! It’s like one celebration after another!!”

Jill’s note articulates the very reason we started our Random Acts of trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign — to deliver smiles to people who make the world a better place by being themselves.  Thank you, Jill for the best note ever and for your heartfelt support !

Show Us Your Sue!

For anyone who doesn’t know about our Show Us Your Suecampaign, this is what you need to know:

Our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign was inspired by the pluck and perseverance of the Sue Heck character on ABC’s The Middle.

Sue Heck is the kind of person that traditional award ceremonies aren’t particularly kind to.  She’s not the most athletic or coordinated person.  She’s not blessed with a gifted singing voice or award-worthy acting chops.  But she is always the most passionate person in the room.  Sue Heck is persistent, optimistic and never, EVER gives up.  She makes things happen for herself rather than waiting for opportunities to be handed to her.  She is trophy-worthy because of her positivity and her sparkly zest for life.  She is always wholeheartedly HERSELF, no matter what anyone else thinks, and we think she deserves a trophy for being an everyday hero.

Sue Heck award Trophy Central

June is an everyday hero because of her commitment to creating eco-friendly knit-wear for babies — made of soft, natural fabrics (cotton and bamboo) — and because of her dedication to supporting female artisans.  A group of women — college students, moms, grandmothers — in Instanbul, Turkey — in addition to June herself, knit from the comfort of their homes. June says  I enjoy working with these gifted ladies and giving them the opportunity to work flexible schedules while earning proper incomes.”

Definitely trophy-worthy in our book!  Congratulations again, June!

Do YOU know any everyday hero?  Want them to get a trophy?  Then nominate them for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award by leaving a comment here on the blog or by tagging us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue.  Make sure to tell us WHY you think your nominee is trophy-worthy!

Giving Thanks and Awarding Those Who Make the World a Brighter Place

Note: We are working hard to rescue our latest winner’s trophy, currently being held hostage at customs, but we could not wait to share the announcement of our latest Random Acts of Kindness award! Read all about it below!


Karen Emma Hall custom engraved trophy

Happy Fall, friends! Thanksgiving is coming up, and all of us at Trophy Central are thankful to everyone in the world who is going out of their way to make the world a better place. Being kind to a stranger, helping animals, speaking up to right a wrong — these are just several ways to be a real-life superhero.

At Trophy Central, we’re all about real-life superheroes, people who make the world a happier, brighter place by being themselves. That’s why we created our Random Acts of Trophy-ness campaign to give out trophies to people who bring gratitude to hearts and smiles to faces.

We call it our “Show Us Your Sue” award because it was inspired by the perpetually optimistic Sue Heck character on ABC’s The Middle. Sue Heck is the kind of person who isn’t typically recognized in traditional trophy-giving categories, but who makes the world a more sparkly, positive place with her ebullient nature and persistent spirit. Sue Heck never, EVER gives up, and Team Trophy Central admires her ambition, determination and contagious zest for life.

A Trophy-Worthy Nomination

Congratulations, Karen Emma Hall! Thank you for making the world more colorful and bright!

Congratulations, Karen Emma Hall, on winning Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness Award! Thank you for making the world a better place, just by being YOU!

Our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign is only as good as the nominations we receive and, given this nomination from former Show Us Your Sue trophy winner Kristy Jo Volchko, it’s pretty darn good!

Kristy Jo Volchko nominated fellow children’s book author Karen Emma Hall with these beautiful words:

“Nothing brings smiles and laughter more quickly than uplifting stories, colorful critters, art, creativity, and encouraging messages, all of which Karen Emma Hall is positively bursting with! Her upbeat, humorous, rainbow-ish energy that she kindly shares with the rest of us could turn even the most stubborn frown upside down. Now that’s magic! That’s why I decided to nominate Karen for the #ShowUsYourSue award because she is that energy, the kind that shares her inner rainbow with the world, bringing inspiration and joy to all who know her.”

Team Trophy Central thinks Kristy’s heartwarming nomination deserves a trophy!!

The Inner Rainbow Award

Rainbow

We awarded Karen Emma Hall with The Inner Rainbow Award, inspired by Kristy’s beautiful phrasing.

This is what it says on her trophy: The Inner Rainbow Award: Making the World More Colorful & Bright Though Positivity & Joy.

Congratulations on your trophy win, Karen!

Show Us Your Sue friends, we invite you to check out Karen’s website — which we think will make you smile! — here.

We also invite you to keep on nominating! To nominate someone for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award, please leave a comment here on the blog and tell us WHY your nominee deserves a trophy. You can also nominate someone by tagging us on social media with the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue. Find us on Twitter and Facebook. Happy nominating!

A Trophy Central Mystery: The Case of the Missing Package

Kristy Jo Volchko books

A package full of smiles courtesy of children’s book author Kristy Jo Volchko!

Last month, Trophy Central awarded children’s book author Kristy Jo Volchko our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue’’ award for “Outstanding Philanthropic Spirit: Inspiring Hope and Spreading Love Through Books and Reading.”

For those who don’t know, our “Show Us Your Sue” trophy is inspired by the fictional Sue Heck character on ABC’s The Middle. At Trophy Central, we’re big fans of the underdogs, people like Sue Heck who may not be considered trophy-worthy in traditional trophy-awarding spheres (sure, we LOVE giving out trophies at school events, but surely not all of us can be quarterbacks and head cheerleaders!) but who nevertheless make the world a better place by being themselves.

We’re in love with Sue’s indefatigable spirit and the fact that she never, EVER gives up.

As Sue Heck says with fervent determination: “The more I fail, the stronger I get,” and all of us at Trophy Central are in awe of her positivity, resilience and strength.

Sue Heck is an everyday hero who inspires, and Kristy Jo Volchko is one too. Kristy not only writes children’s books with stories that teach kids to have compassion, confidence and hope; she also donates proceeds from her hildren’s books to children’s charities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Unicef.

Kristy Jo Volchko award Trophy Central

Smiles like Kristy Jo Volchko’s are the reason Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign exists.

The Trophy-Worthy Mystery Begins

And now on to the mystery portion of this blog!

In mid July, Kristy wrote to Trophy Central asking for our address so she could send us a package of her children’s books as a thank you for sending her a trophy that made her smile.

Nearing the end of July, her package still hadn’t arrived.

Kristy was getting nervous and Team Trophy Central was too. Every time we went to check our mail box, we held our breath in excited anticipation of receiving Kristy’s children’s books… and every time Kristy’s package wasn’t in our pile of mail, we felt bluer and bluer.

We really didn’t want to have to write to her to say another day had gone by and her package STILL hadn’t shown up.

But we had to tell her the truth.

When we did, we got even worse news back: According to tracking, it had arrived a week ago and was left at “the front door or porch.”

But the address we gave was a PO box! There’s no porch to leave it on and it’s a BUSINESS— meaning the mail delivery person would surely not just leave it outside the door for any random person in the shopping center to pick up off the floor! According to tracking, it was delivered during normal business hours, meaning the mail delivery person was supposed to OPEN THE DOOR and leave our package inside at the front desk!!

That’s when Kristy wrote to us to say “It had smiley and love and butterfly stickers all over the interior and exterior, a beautiful handwritten card and signed copies of all four books. I have no doubt that this circus looking package would’ve made you crack up laughing!”

It sounded like a bundle of pure love. How could it be missing?!

When Kristy wrote to Trophy Central to say “I think someone stole your package. That makes me want to cry,” we wanted to cry too!

But in genuine Show Us Your Sue-spirit, we were determined not to give up!

Fingers Crossed… and a Clue

Kristy Jo Volchkin books 1

Trophy Central loves this handwritten thank-you note from author Kristy Jo Volchko.

It sounded like the mail delivery person had to have delivered the package to the wrong address. But a week had now passed. Was there any chance of finding it?!

We told Kristy we were on the case!

We contacted the owner of our PO box place and submitted a very long “missing package” form online.

Kristy promised she would keep her fingers crossed.

The owner of Trophy Central’s PO box place got back to us right away to say he had done some investigating and found out that a different mail person was working on the day Kristy’s package was delivered, not the mail person who normally does his deliveries.

He concurred that the new delivery person must have delivered the package to the wrong address.

We were happy to have some info, but it didn’t exactly bring the package back.

Perseverance is Winning

A week went by and still no news. Then, two weeks later, Team Trophy Central received a note from our PO box place saying they had located the missing package by talking to many mail delivery people and tracking it down from the tracking number!!!!!

We immediately wrote to Kristy to say we were on our way to pick it up!

Kristy wrote back: “Nooooo way!!!!!!!!!!!! You just made my night! You are adorably relentless, you super sleuth, you! I cannot believe you tracked it down after all this time, you are something! Thank you for caring about your package this way. It means so much to me that you took this time to recover it. You’re truly awesome.”

We think Kristy is truly awesome! Upon opening her package, we were overcome with joy! Everything was still perfectly intact. The stickers on the outside of the package made us smile. Kristy also wrote us a beautiful and heartwarming card, filled with even more stickers and love. Everything was put together with so much love and care — it was even more a bundle of love than we could have possibly imagined.

Kristy Jo Volchko books 3

Team Trophy Central thinks these cheerful stickers are awesome — we think Sue Heck would agree!

We were gifted with autographed copies — beautifully signed to Trophy Central! — of Kristy’s books Frogs Can Fly, Operation Scrub-A-Dub Skunk, The Clubhouse Cabobble and There Are No Monsters at Cackleberry Creek.

Kristy also gifted us with four bookmarks — one for each of her books! — and adorable little laminated gift cards to download her ebooks. And everything was tied together so nicely with pretty red ribbon!

The moral of the story? Sue Heck-like persistence and optimism pays off!

Even after Trophy Central had Kristy’s package in our possession and had opened it and marveled over everything, Kristy still couldn’t believe we’d found it:

“No one would even believe how hilarious this was. ‘The case of the missing package’ is what I’ve been calling this mystery. My husband just laughed every time I filled him in on a new development. He says, when women are determined, watch out! I wholeheartedly agree. I said I can picture you climbing over mountains, swimming through rivers and wading through moats to get to the bottom of this. This makes you receiving it all the sweeter. This is how I felt when you sent me my beautiful trophy that still sits on my mantle. I hope you enjoy the stories.”

Team Trophy Central is so happy your trophy makes you as happy as your package made us, Kristy! Thank you for letting us tell this story on our blog. It was so “Show Us Your Sue” that we couldn’t resist! Three cheers for never, EVER giving up!

Speaking of Show Us Your Sue…

Trophy Central custom engraved award for Kari Joys

Custom engraved trophy for Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award winner.

Trophy Central is happy to announce August’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” trophy winner Kari Joys, nominated by Carla Horn, previous “Show Us Your Sue winner for “Making a Difference With Positivity & Love”.

Kari won “The Path to Inner Peace Award” for the work she does as a psychotherapist to help people overcome stress, anxiety, depression and abuse.

Congratulations, Kari!

Now it’s up to you! Our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award is only as good as the nominations we receive. So please Show Us Your Sue! You can nominate your Random Acts of Trophy-ness pick in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue. Don’t forget to tell us why your nominee is trophy-worthy!

And the Trophy for Outstanding Philanthropic Sprit Goes to…

Kristy Jo Volchko award Trophy Central

Congratulations to children’s book author Kristy Jo Volchko for winning the Random Acts of Trophy-ness award for “Outstanding Philanthropic Spirit: Inspiring Hope and Spreading Love Through Books and Reading.”

Sending out trophies and getting to experience the joy it brings others will absolutely never get old. Delivering smiles is not just our tagline; it’s genuinely the reason we do what we do.

Our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign to deliver smiles — and trophies — to people who make the world a better place by being themselves is pure merriment for all of us at Trophy Central.

We started our campaign because we were inspired by Sue Heck from ABC’s The Middle, the girl who never, EVER gives up, the perpetual underdog with so much passion, determination and zest for life she can make an entire gymnasium get up and cheer.

The March to Their Own Drummers

In fact, in last season’s finale, Sue and her friend Brad do an entire musical number across their college quad about celebrating the “march to their own drummers”. We at Trophy Central can’t get enough of the “march to their own drummers.” That’s why we just sent out our latest “Show Us Your Sue” trophy to Kristy Jo Volchko, winner for Outstanding Philanthropic Spirit: Inspiring Hope and Spreading Love Through Books and Reading.

Kristy was nominated for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award by Jill Cofsky, first grade teacher, voice actor and former Show Us Your Sue trophy winner for Excellence in Teaching and Inspiring Students.

Jill said “Kristy is a sweetheart. She is the talented author of the children’s adventure series, Cackleberry Creek. Kristy is extremely kind and incredibly generous. She loves children and loves getting books into the hands of children. In fact, all of the proceeds from one of her books, Frogs Can Fly, goes to directly help children’s organizations! She is definitely an unsung hero and deserving of a Show Us Your Sue Award!!”

Awarding Kindness, Positivity and Hope

Trophy Central Random Acts of Trophy-ness award winner

Team Trophy Central is thrilled to welcome children’s book author Kristy Jo Volchko to the Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” family!

Upon hearing she had a trophy with her name on it on its way, Kristy beautifully said “I am seriously smiling from ear to ear! I absolutely love your organization’s positivity and everything you stand for. Spreading kindness and love is the greatest thing any of us can do.”

We couldn’t agree more!

And that’s why Kristy epitomizes the Show Us Your Sue spirit.

Kristy believes that books have the power to inspire children and give them hope. The magical world of stories, along with children’s imagination, is a very powerful combination. The right book can make us laugh, make us wonder, make us dream — and can even make us feel less alone. Kristy rightly believes that you can find a friend in a book, and we at Trophy Central couldn’t agree more. We’re beyond confident that her stories are making a difference in the lives of all the children who read them.

Making a Difference

 

And how wonderful is it that her books are making a difference beyond that, reaching out to other children as well?! Her book Frogs Can Fly, about a frog named Lulu who “wishes she were a bird, a squirrel, a cat…anything but a green ole frog!” and has to come to terms with loving herself for who she is, not only delivers a strong message that girls of all ages could learn from, but also benefits children’s organizations.

All proceeds from Frogs Can Fly are donated to various children’s organizations, such as St. Jude Children’s Research HospitalUnicef, allergy and anaphylaxis awareness, literacy programs and Mastocytosis/MCAD research.

Twitter post by Trophy Central award winner children's book author Kristy Jo Volchko

At Trophy Central we don’t just sell trophies, we deliver smiles. We’re honored to send a smile to the talented, kind-hearted Kristy Jo Volchko.

Kristy’s philanthropic spirit encompasses everything she does. She says “No matter how down on your luck you are or where you come from, you can STILL help others. you can STILL spread love, positivity, hope. Through my stories I hope to reach children in a way that helps them have compassion, hope, desire to learn, laughter, and to forget a little while about some of the harshness of this world.”

If that isn’t deserving of a trophy, what is?!

Our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign aims to reward everyday heroes like Kristy who are making the world a better place by being themselves. Do you know any everyday hero who inspires? Please nominate them in the comments section below or by using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue on Twitter or Facebook. Don’t forget to tell us what your nominee is doing to make the world a better place!

Show Us Your Sue: The Only Trophy Awarded to Smilers, Dreamers and Day-Makers

Carla Horn Show Us Your Sue trophy

Carla Horn’s Instagram bio could easily be mistaken for Sue Heck’s. It reads “Big Smiler! Believer in Kindness, Goodness & Making Someone’s Day.”

It doesn’t get more Sue Heck than that!

Team Trophy Central believes Sue Heck would LOVE Carla’s Instagram profile!

For those of you who don’t yet know, Sue Heck (the perpetually optimistic fictional character from ABC’s The Middle) inspired Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign, dedicated to awarding everyday heroes who make the world a better place simply by being themselves.

This quote, posted on Carla's Instagram, embodies the spirit of Trophy Central's "Show Us Your Sue" campaign.

This quote, posted on Carla’s Instagram, embodies the spirit of Trophy Central’s “Show Us Your Sue” campaign.

Team Trophy Central is pleased to welcome Carla Horn to the Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” family!

Congratulations, Carla, on winning the “Show Us Your Sue” award for “Making a Difference with Positivity and Love.”

Jill Cofsky — who won Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award for “Excellence in Teaching and Inspiring Students” — nominated Carla for her dedication to spreading love and positivity everywhere she goes.

Indeed, all you have to do is scroll through Carla’s Instagram or Twitter profile for a split second to be blasted by images that radiate happiness and a positive outlook on life. Carla’s social media accounts are filled with smiling faces, cheerful flowers, cuddly pups, and inspirational quotes.

Carla Horn positivity on Instagram

Team Trophy Central can’t help but smile when we look at Carla’s Instagram photos!

Team Trophy Central adores all of Carla’s photos, especially those that include her beautiful daughter. The photos of Carla and her daughter radiate joy and you can’t help but smile when you see them.

Carla embodies the “Show Us Your Sue” spirit. Trophy Central’s “Show Us Your Sue” campaign is about celebrating everyday heroes who, in deeds large and small, make life a little gentler, kinder or amusing for those lucky enough to encounter them.

Please help us spread more smiles! Nominate someone for the “Show Us Your Sue” award today. You can nominate your Random Acts of Trophy-ness pick in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue. Don’t forget to tell us why your nominee is trophy-worthy!

Shining a Light to Save Lives: Introducing the Random Acts of Trophy-ness Awareness Award

Frankie Heck (mom to Sue Heck, our Random Acts of Trophy-ness "Show Us Your Sue" campaign muse) enjoying some fun in the sun. | Image courtesy of ABC's The Middle

Frankie Heck (mom to Sue Heck, our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” campaign muse) enjoying some fun in the sun. | Image courtesy of ABC’s The Middle

Now that it’s officially spring and the weather is warming up, most people are trading in sweaters for swimsuits and fireside reading for poolside recreation. Like most, team Trophy Central enjoys partaking in warm weather activities, from baseball games and picnics to surfing and hiking. Spending time in the sun is a whole lot of fun but it does come with some risks. And all of us here at Trophy Central want nothing more than for families to stay both happy AND healthy.

Enter Susan A. Hughes, a Certified Melanoma Educator who brings awareness to the growing skin cancer epidemic. Congratulations, Susan, on winning the “Shining a Light to Save Lives” award! We’re delighted to welcome you to the Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” family!

Trophy Central Random Acts of Trophy-ness Award Show Us Your Sue

Susan’s nomination comes courtesy of past “Show Us Your Sue” award winner, author C.L. Murphy.

Thank you C.L. Murphy for nominating Susan for this award — and for sharing how melanoma has affected you personally.

Delivering More Smiles

Calling all “Show us Your Sue” trophy winners. It’s Trophy Central’s pledge to deliver smiles and we need your help to deliver more.

Trophy Central Random Acts of Trophy-ness Show Us Your Sue award winners

At Trophy Central, we don’t just sell trophies—we deliver smiles.

A trophy-worthy person doesn’t need to be someone with an active do-good campaign, a large following on social media or a household name. Sue Heck, the inspiration for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness campaign, was a high school misfit on The Middle (she’s now a slightly better fitting college student) whose high school yearbook was nonetheless signed by every person in her class for one reason: she made them feel better about themselves.

We want to grow our campaign supporting people who, in deeds large and small, make life a little gentler, kinder or amusing for those lucky enough to encounter them.

And we’re so busy making trophies for schools, athletic teams and businesses that we don’t get out much! So we really need you to be our eyes and ears to make our “Show Us Your Sue” campaign a long-running, smile-inducing success.

Sue Heck award Trophy Central

Our Random Acts of Trophy-ness: “Show Us Your Sue” campaign honors underdogs, dreamers and everyday heroes who inspire.

With that in mind, here are some examples of the types of people we think are trophy-worthy. We hope they inspire you to nominate at least two people this month and every month for the next twelve. Yes, that’s 24 nominations per trophy winner, but no goal is too big for the Sue Hecks of the world. And, if you don’t make the goal? Well, like Sue Heck, just keep trying.

Here are 10 ideas to kick off the new expanded version of our “Show Us Your Sue” campaign. People we believe would make Sue Heck proud include:

  1. The homeless person who ALWAYS smiles at you even though you never offer him any spare change.
  2. The homeless person who sits outside a pet supply store and never asks for money, only food to feed the dog he holds in his arms.
  3. The barista who always remembers, not just your order but your name and asks you about the book you’re carrying under your arm.
  4. The neighbor who gets up before dawn to snow plow your driveway because he knows you stay up late caring for a special needs child.
  5. The man with a cane who gives up his seat on the subway so you can sit down and nurse your infant.
  6. The woman who buys two lottery tickets every day and always hands out one of them to the person standing behind her, saying nothing more than “good luck” when she does.
  7. The high school coach who always brings an extra lunch with him to feed a student who would otherwise go without.
  8. The teacher who encouraged a quiet student to take an improv class to boost his confidence.
  9. The creator of a TV show that made you laugh when you were sick, lonely or afraid.
  10. ANYONE who made you smile when you really needed one, someone you know would smile broadly if they received a trophy in the mail (or you delivered one to them personally.)

You get the idea. Please help us spread smiles. Nominate someone today with their contact information (or yours if you will hand-deliver a trophy.) Don’t have anyone in mind? Ask your friends, coworkers and family members for the names of potential nominees.

KOTAW Girl Gang trophy

Nothing makes people smile like a trophy (and cupcakes!)

Can’t think of anyone? We don’t believe you! Anyone who has won a trophy attracts kind and altruistic people. Start sending your nominations today – and keep them coming! The world needs more smiles.

trophy-central-thank-you-note-from-young-award-winner

Team Trophy Central cherishes this thank-you note from our youngest Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award winner, Ily.

Let’s Get Nominating!

We are calling upon the following Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” winners to nominate, nominate, nominate!

1. Krithika Rangarajan (Excellence in Pet Adoption Advocacy)

2. Chloe Pink (Best Girl Power Advocate)

3. Jill Cofsky (Excellence in Teaching and Inspiring Students)

4. Kristen Lamb (Excellence in Inspiring Kids to Read and Write)

5. Gomee Girl (Excellence in Girl Empowerment

Krystian Leonard Trophy Central Show Us Your Sue Award Random Acts of Trophyness

More trophies, more smiles.

6. Jennifer Broderick (Excellence in Inspiring the World Through Art)

7. Johnnie Tuitel (Excellence in Inspiring the World to Live Without Boundaries)

8. Kathleen Egan (Excellence in Helping High School Students Reach Their Highest Potential)

9. Meghedi Khashaki (Excellence in Compassion, Honesty and Spirit)

10. The KOTAW Girl Gang (Excellence in Bravery, Determination, Creativity, Kindness & Pit Bull Advocacy)

Sherry Lee White award

At Trophy Central, we believe it’s the smile that counts. Thank you, Sherry Lee White, for sharing your bright smile that lights up a room.

11. Angel’s mom, Rebecca Corry (The One and Only ANGEL Award)

12. Krystian Leonard (Excellence in Inspiring Girls of All Ages To Love Their Bodies and Let Their Inner Beauty Shine)

13. Bagel Mom (Outstanding Achievement in Altruism)

14. Sherry Lee White (Excellence In Inspiring Others to Say ‘Yes’ to the Life of Their Dreams)

15. Ily “Sweetsie Sue” Scott (Best Positive Spirit: Changing the World with Kindness and Love)

16. Mariann Asbury (The “Heart as Big as the Ocean” Award)

17. C.L. Murphy (Excellence in Teaching Kindness Toward Animals)

18. Susan A. Hughes (Shining a Light to Save Lives Awareness Award)

ANGEL award dedicated to Rebecca Corry's rescued Pit Bull, Angel, the inspiration behind Stand Up For Pits Foundation | Trophy Central

Team Trophy Central loves animals and the people who fight for their rights.

Alright friends, let’s get nominating! You can nominate your Random Acts of Trophy-ness pick in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue. Don’t forget to tell us why your nominee is trophy-worthy!

Rewarding Kindness Toward Animals: Our Latest Trophy Winner Announced!

Lovable Lobo

It’s hard to believe we just awarded the 17th Random Acts of Trophy-ness trophy! We started our Random Acts of Trophy-ness campaign with two goals in mind:

  1. To find people (and animals!) who are changing the world by being themselves. Inspired by Sue Heck’s character from The Middle, who is perpetually optimistic and who never, EVER gives up, we created the “Show Us Your Sue” campaign to seek out underdogs, dreamers and everyday heroes who inspire.
  2. To award these people (and animals!) who are making the world a better place by sending them a trophy to make them smile.

We could not be more thrilled to have just awarded a very special children’s author, C.L. Murphy, and a very special wolf pup, Lovable Lobo, with our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award for Excellence in Teaching Kindness Toward Animals.

C.L. Murphy and Lovable Lobo Random Acts of Trophy-ness Show Us Your Sue award

Lovable Lobo is the title character in C.L. Murphy’s Lovable Lobo picture book series. Based on a real wolf C.L. Murphy raised for over 14 years, Lovable Lobo teaches kids how to treat animals with kindness as he navigates fun and wacky adventures in each story.

C.L. Murphy says her love for animals began at a very early age: “I was that little girl that brought home the strays asking, ‘Can we please keep it?’” As a child, she even trained a wild blue jay to appear on command — and rewarded the bird with food from her hand.

We love animals here at Trophy Central (in case you couldn’t already tell, given that this is the 4th animal-related Random Acts of Trophy-ness award we’ve given out) and we think that treating animals with kindness is one of the best things we can teach our kids.

Animals teach people so many things: how to love unconditionally, how to live in the moment, how to find the joy in every day. The list could go on an on and encompass this entire blog.

Lovable Lobo animal facts

Teaching kids to be kind to animals is one of the best ways to ensure they grow up to be kind individuals who will grow up and make the world a better place.

So we here at Trophy Central applaud C.L. Murphy and Lovable Lobo for ensuring the next generation grows up loving animals and treating both animals and people with kindness, respect and understanding.

And we thank fellow Show Us Your Sue winner Chloe Pink for nominating C.L. Murphy and Lovable Lobo!

We also invite her to pay it forward by nominating another inspirational person (or animal!) for the next Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award.

In the meantime, we invite all our readers to check out the previous Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” winners here:

  1. Excellence in Pet Adoption Advocacy: Krithika Rangarajan
  2. Best Girl Power Advocate: Chloe Pink
  3. Excellence in Teaching and Inspiring Students: Jill Cofsky
  4. Excellence in Inspiring Kids to Read and Write: Kristen Lamb
  5. Excellence in Girl Empowerment: Gomee Girl
  6. Excellence in Inspiring the World Through Art: Jennifer Broderick
  7. Excellence in Inspiring the World to Live Without Boundaries: Johnnie Tuitel
  8. Excellence in Helping High School Students Reach Their Highest Potential: Kathleen Egan
  9. Excellence in Compassion, Honesty and Spirit: Meghedi Khashaki
  10. Excellence in Bravery, Determination, Creativity, Kindness & Pit Bull Advocacy: The KOTAW Girl Gang
  11. The One and Only ANGEL Award: Angel
  12. Excellence in Inspiring Girls of All Ages To Love Their Bodies and Let Their Inner Beauty Shine: Krystian Leonard
  13. Outstanding Achievement in Altruism: Bagel Mom
  14. Excellence In Inspiring Others to Say ‘Yes’ to the Life of Their Dreams: Sherry Lee White
  15. Best Positive Spirit: Changing the World with Kindness and Love: Ily “Sweetsie Sue” Scott
  16. The “Heart as Big as the Ocean” Award: Mariann Asbury

A big congratulations again to C.L. Murphy and Lovable Lobo for being the latest Random Acts of Trophy-ness award winner. We just love your PAW-sitive spirit!

Who’s next? We have only three more trophies to send out until we get to our 20th “Show Us Your Sue” award winner! We look forward to celebrating that milestone with you, as well as each trophy (and moment) in between.

Please nominate someone who might not partake in the traditional trophy winning sphere. Someone who’s not a football star or lead in all the school plays, but whose tenacity, positivity, resilience and altruism is making the world a better place. You can nominate your Random Acts of Trophy-ness pick in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue. Don’t forget to tell us why your nominee is trophy-worthy!

Winning Hearts and Winning Trophies: Introducing the “Heart as Big as the Ocean” Award

Meet Mariann Asbury, Trophy Central's winner of "A Heart as Big as the Ocean Award."

Meet Mariann Asbury, Trophy Central’s winner of “A Heart as Big as the Ocean Award.”

Mariann Asbury, our January Random Acts of Trophy-ness winner, deserves a trophy for almost every reason we could imagine. It was hard to find a suitable name for her trophy, but we think we found it in this: A Heart as Big as the Ocean Award.

And it was a recent episode of ABC’s “The Middle” that inspired Katherine Kotaw, a previous Random Acts of Trophy-ness winner, to nominate Mariann.

Sue Heck, the inspiration for our #ShowUsYourSue award, is enjoying success at college. It seems that her indefatigable spirit, which never failed her despite humiliating defeats as a child, is finally being rewarded. She’s chosen a career that fits her personality, resides in a posh apartment paid for by her roommate’s father and feels so independent that she made through an entire episode without visiting or calling her parents.

Honoring a Sometimes Painful Past

But Sue hasn’t forgotten what it was like to be an outsider for most of her life. When, during the episode, her friend Brad suggested that their no-cut acapella group become more discerning to better their chances at winning a contest, Sue reminds him about the importance of inclusion, something they both sought but rarely achieved during high school.

The Middle Pitch Imperfect No-Cut Acapella

Sue and Brad practicing for the no-cut acapella competition. (Photo courtesy of ABC’s “The Middle.”)

When most members of the group bail at the last minute – fearing embarrassment – Sue and Brad brave the competition alone. Their performance is terrible but, in true #ShowUsYourSue fashion, the pair encourages the audience to mock them. Brad holds up the mike and tells the audience to jeer them on with “Boo” and Sue holds out the mike and asks them to chant “You suck!” The audience shouts “You suck. You suck. You suck. Boo!” as Brad and Sue gamely finish their song and dance. The audience applauds them at the end. They didn’t win the competition, but they won everyone’s hearts.

Heart that Stretches Across the Sea

And Mariann won ours. Mariann moved from Scandinavia to Oregon as a young woman. She married the “best husband in the universe,” and, after having a son of their own, they adopted four siblings whose mother could not care for them. Between rearing the children largely on her own (her husband is a long-distance truck driver) and launching a photography business, Bambino Zoom & Shootz Photography, she could have easily said “I’m too busy” when a childhood friend reached out to her about a woman in their community who needed help.

Like the fictional Sue, the real-life Mariann did not ignore her roots. As Katherine, whose life story became a Lifetime movie, “Run for Your Life,” tells it:

“Mariann reached out to me about a year ago seeking my advice about an abused woman who was battling the court system in Scandinavia to protect herself and her children from a man she had fled. She thought, giving my background, that I could help. And I did. For a while, I acted like Cyrano de Bergerac, providing behind-the-scenes advice that Mariann translated for the woman in Scandinavia.

Mariann Asbury

A Song for an Unsung Hero

“Mariann gives me a lot of credit for the successful outcome (the woman won both a criminal and civil case and the father’s rights to his children were permanently severed). But she’s the unsung hero here.

“She not only helped this young woman and her young children fight a daunting legal battle, she also sent them care packages of food, bedding and clothing. More important, she stood up to community leaders on the woman’s behalf, which was a major challenge for Mariann.  Because of trauma in her own childhood, Mariann was unaccustomed to standing up to male authority. But her concern and compassion for a mother and her children overrode her fears. She was literally tireless – counseling the woman and her family on Scandinavia time and taking care of her own on Oregon time, 9 hours behind.

“And she is so humble about her role. She put much of her life on the backburner in order to help a woman she barely knew. She listened to gruesome, heartbreaking details about domestic abuse without flinching or turning away. She acted in true #ShowUsYourSue spirit, and I’d love for Trophy Central to recognize her as someone whose heart is a big as the ocean and who put social media to social good. Actually to social greatness – the lives of an entire family changed for the better because of her selfless deeds.”

Nominate Your Candidate for a Random Act of Trophy-ness

We agree and are thrilled to add Mariann to our growing list of #ShowUsYourSue trophy winners. But we don’t want this important campaign to end here. Please send us your nominations for a Random Act of Trophy-ness in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter using #ShowUsYourSue. Don’t forget to tell us why you think your nominee deserves a trophy!

Rainbow Bright ‘Sweetsie Sue’ Becomes Youngest Winner of Our Random Acts of Trophy-Ness Award

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Meet Ily Scott, Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness: Show Us Your Sue award for “Best Positive Spirit: Changing the World with Kindness and Love.”

This holiday season, Trophy Central wants you to bring your some year-end joy. Ten-year-old Ily Scott, this month’s winner of our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award, will help everyone ring in 2017 with a big smile.

Ily lives in a crowded, sometimes chaotic household. But she never lets any of the natural turmoil get her down. Ily is so much like Sue Heck, whose indefatigable spirit keeps ABC’s The Middle from becoming just another typical family sitcom, that her mom calls her Sweetsie Sue.

“Ily brightens up the day of everyone around her because of her positive energy, silliness and encouraging attitude,” Lisa Scott wrote in a note to Trophy Central. She says that, like Sue, Ily is an ENFP – the free spirited and passionate personality type identified on the Myers-Briggs personality indicator.

Mom’s Cheerleader

“Nothing gets her down,” says her mom. “She has four brothers and sisters, including 5-year-old twins and whenever I have a hard day, which is often, I can ALWAYS count on her to cheer me up. It is her natural tendency to just come up to me and take my hand and say, ‘Mom, we love you no matter what and we know you are doing the best you can.'”

Still harbor doubts that Ily deserves December’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness award?

Here’s what else her mom had to say:

“I love her kindness, and her spirit and the fact that she cries when she hears Bruno Mars sing Just The Way You Are because she thinks it’s so beautiful.”

Mom’s Opposite

And Lisa Scott did not nominate her mini-me. She says she doesn’t recognize her personality in her daughter’s.

“I am the opposite of Ily – a pessimist and a negative thinker and I thank God every day that he gave me Ily to bring some color and sunshine into my world.”

With these words in mind, Trophy Central is beyond pleased to award Ily “Sweetsie Sue” Scott our Random Acts of Trophy-ness award for Best Positive Spirit: Changing the World with Kindness and Love.

When we told Lisa her daughter had won, she thanked us and added, “She has wanted a trophy so badly that she started keeping one of my old trophies on her night stand so she will be beaming from ear to ear when she finally gets one of her very own.”

Ily’s Gratitude

And she was right! Lisa sent us this tweet of Ily with her Trophy Central trophy.

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Team Trophy Central is delighted to hear that Ily’s trophy is her new “favorite thing!”

And Ily further proved her trophy worthiness by sending us a thank you note, “Dear Trophy Central. Thank you so much for the shiny trophy. I love how pretty it is.”

trophy-central-thank-you-note-from-young-award-winner

This beautiful handmade thank-you note put the biggest smile on the faces of team Trophy Central!

You’re very welcome, Ily. But it’s really we who should be thanking YOU. Your bright spirit is shinier than any trophy and deserves a mantel of its very own. You light up the world – making every day seem like a holiday.

Thank you also to everyone who supports Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness #ShowUsYourSue campaign, our feel-good project that recognizes and awards everyday heroes who inspire.

Do YOU know someone who makes the world a better place simply by being him/herself? Then please nominate this award-worthy person for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter using #ShowUsYourSue. Don’t forget to tell us why you think your nominee deserves a trophy!

Oh-So-Sue and a Trophy Too! Meet Our Latest Random Acts of Trophy-ness Winner

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Sherry Lee White: Mom, Founder and Chief Bliss Officer at Trulee, Joy Junkie & Wellness Activist, and now — Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness award winner!

Trophy Central is delighted to announce the latest winner of our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award.

Congratulations, Sherry Lee White, on winning Trophy Central’s award for “Excellence In Inspiring Others to Say ‘Yes’ to the Life of Their Dreams.”

A mother of four, Sherry Lee White is a self-proclaimed “Joy Junkie and Wellness Activist” who is on a mission to inspire people to live a happier, healthier life by encouraging them to breakup with relationships, habits and thoughts that don’t serve them.

Her own moment of clarity came after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

“After years of suffering with a debilitating autoimmune disease and clinical depression, I found a natural path back to health and happiness through lifestyle changes in the areas of eating, moving, thinking and showing up in everyday life.

“It took stakes this high for me to dig in and say “no” to things that didn’t serve me or my children (pharmaceuticals with scary side effects, unhappy relationships, sitting on the sidelines of my own life), and the courage to say “yes” to chasing bigger dreams that seemed out of reach (writing a book, starting a superfood company, stand-up comedy).”

Sherry Lee White shares her wisdom for creating a blissful life on her blog, which focuses on four main components: meals, mind, movement and mom stuff.

Trophy Central is in awe of Sherry Lee White’s determination to create a life she loves. We also appreciate her desire to help others find their own unique path to happiness as well. These honorable pursuits are oh-so-Sue! (For those of you who don’t already know, Sue Heck from the hit sitcom “The Middle” is our campaign muse. We love her can-do spirit and the fact that she never, EVER gives up! Sue Heck may not be a “winner” in the traditional trophy-giving sphere (athleticism or artistic talent for example) but she makes the world a better place just by being the terrific person she is. And that is what makes a true winner in our eyes.)

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Team Trophy Central would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sherry Lee White on her win and thank Krystian Leonard, founder of the non-profit organization Shining S.C.A.R.S., for nominating Sherry for this award.

We would also like to close this blog with an uplifting message from Sherry Lee White, one we believe would make Sue Heck proud:

“Sometimes life is hard, and we can feel overwhelmed or alone. I’m here for you. I hope stopping by my little corner of the internet makes you feel like you’re in your best friend’s kitchen. Come as you are, let’s share stories, laughs and encouragement. The life of your dreams is right around the corner and I would love to have any small part in helping you make it happen!”

Thank you also to everyone who supports Trophy Central’s Random Acts of Trophy-ness #ShowUsYourSue campaign, our feel-good project that recognizes and awards everyday heroes who inspire.

Do YOU know someone who makes the world a better place simply by being him/herself? Then please nominate this award-worthy person for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter using #ShowUsYourSue. Don’t forget to tell us why you think your nominee deserves a trophy!