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Local philanthropist Dorothy Morris will be honored in Little Rock today for her commitment to bettering the lives of the state's children.

According to a news release, the Arkansas Children's Award has been presented for 23 years to outstanding Arkansans who have made an impact on children throughout the state. This year, the Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches will recognize Morris for her work on behalf of Arkansas children.

"The ASYR Board of Trustees has a committee that meets annually who decides who will be our next honoree," Matt Cleveland, chief development officer for ASYR, said in an email.

"Dorothy has served on this committee the last several years and last year while we were honoring Greg Hatcher, the committee agreed that we should honor Dorothy the next year," he said.

"Dorothy has been such a blessing to the ASYR for many, many years. She helped us build the Walter Morris Memorial Chapel on our Lake DeGray Campus in memory of her late husband, and she has helped the ASYR raise tens of thousands of dollars through challenge and matching grants over the years through efforts like Arkansas Gives."

Morris has devoted her life to supporting the work of nonprofit organizations through the Morris Foundation, the release said, which invests in nonprofit projects around the state and has encouraged millions of dollars in matching gifts.

Cleveland said the Arkansas Children's Award, now in its 23rd year, was established in part by former Gov. Mike Beebe to honor someone who has made great contributions to children across the state. The award was meant to be a one-time honor, but because of its success, Cleveland said ASYR has continued giving the award over the years.

Beebe will serve as master of ceremonies for the event at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the youth ranches.

Since the Sheriffs of Arkansas founded the ASYR in 1976, the ranches have been a place to call home for more than 2,050 boys and girls. The Ranches serve some of Arkansas's most at-risk children and provide all necessities associated with raising a child including housing, food, clothing, proper medical care and educational expenses.

Email Cleveland at or call 501-940-3440 for more information.

Local on 10/11/2018

Print Headline: Local philanthropist Morris honored for helping children

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