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Children's Champion Luncheon

Join Idaho Voices for Children at our 10th annual Children’s Champion Luncheon on Friday, September 15, 2017, at Boise State University. This year, we will be honoring Marilyn Shuler posthumously. Proceeds from the luncheon will go to support Marilyn’s legacy in child advocacy. Tickets are selling quickly, and we expect a full house. Don’t miss out on this opportunity – Purchase your tickets today!

Children’s Champion Luncheon

September 15, 2017, 11:30am – 1:00pm

Boise State University, Jordan Ballroom


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Learn More About the Children’s Champion Luncheon:

Learn more about Marilyn Shuler's Life and Child Advocacy Accomplishments

2017 Children’s Champion: Marilyn Shuler, 1939-2017

Marilyn PhotoMarilyn Shuler will be honored during the event posthumously as the 2017 Children’s Champion. Marilyn’s passion for children’s advocacy began upon marrying her husband, John Shuler, an Idaho social worker whose career spanned 25 years working with vulnerable children. Touched by this work, Marilyn and John became foster parents to many children through their lifetime. Marilyn’s passion for children, experience with foster care, and connection to Casey Family Programs led her to become a guardian ad litem. During this time, Marilyn noticed the issues that many families faced in Idaho due to a lack of access to early education. For three years, she and many other Treasure Valley women ran the Boise Non-Tuition Kindergarten Program to help educate and prepare low-income children for first grade. Their success led to the Idaho Legislature’s enactment of publicly-funded kindergarten. This was one of Marilyn’s proudest achievements. Marilyn was subsequently elected to serve as a Trustee of Boise Public Schools, and oversaw the implementation of kindergarten in public schools.

Did you know?

Marilyn Shuler lived a very accomplished – and busy – life! Here are a few interesting facts about Marilyn.

  • Marilyn was an early advocate for establishing public kindergartens in Idaho schools and often said that the campaign’s success was one of her proudest achievement.
  • She received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from the University of Idaho in 2000 and Boise State University in 2014.
  • Her husband, John, was a social worker who became the state coordinator for youth rehabilitation for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
  • Marilyn and John were foster parents to numerous “hard to place” teenagers.
  • She volunteered as a guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Judicial Court.
  • Marilyn established the John D. Shuler Memorial Fund within the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to help children in foster care with things they either need or would benefit from, such as music lessons and summer camps.
  • She was a director of the YMCA and part of the YWCA non-tuition kindergarten program for low-income children.
  • Marilyn loved to travel with her family and friends around the world and the U.S.
  • Marilyn was the director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission for 20 years.
  • She was a co-founder of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the only Anne Frank memorial in the United States.

  • As a childhood polio survivor, Marilyn was an outspoken advocate for childhood vaccinations.
  • Marilyn was an advisory council member for the Casey Family Program.
  • As a gubernatorial appointee, she served for more than ten years on the board of the Public Employees Retirement System of Idaho.
  • She was active in a variety of community organizations, including the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at BSU, the City Club of Boise, the Ada County Human Rights Task Force, the Idaho Board of Medicine, the Boise Police Department’s Greenbelt Patrol, the Junior League of Boise, the Boise Redevelopment Agency, the Boise Committee on Foreign Relations, the Friends Advisory Board of Idaho Public Television, the Idaho Statesman’s Editorial Board, and the Boise Public Schools Education Foundation.
  • In addition to being selected as the 2017 Children’s Champion, Marilyn received many awards, including the 1996 “Torch of Liberty” award from the Anti-Defamation League’s Pacific Northwest Region, the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Canyon Area Human Rights Task Force, the St. Luke’s Hospital annual “Light of Philanthropy” award, the “Distinguished Community Service Award” in 1990 from the Boise Area Chamber of Commerce, and the 2008 “Heritage Hall of Fame” designation from the Treasure Valley branch of the NAACP.

Proceeds from the Children's Champion Luncheon Benefit Idaho Voices for Children
2016-Idaho-Voices-LogoBy purchasing a ticket to the Children’s Champion Luncheon, you will allow Idaho Voices for Children to continue to champion critical advocacy on behalf of kids. Just last year, Voices helped to secure $9 million of funding towards interventions for struggling readers and shaped the debate on affordable health care options in Idaho. Additional policy successes include reestablishing Idaho Child Fatality Review Board, protecting enforcement of child support orders, and securing de facto guardianship rights for grandparents serving as the primary caregiver for grandchildren.
Thanks to our past Children’s Champion honorees!


Event Questions?

Please call Christine Tiddens, Community Outreach Director, at 208-947-4259.