Debra McDowall and Larry Sawyer

Debra McDowall and Larry Sawyer


Debra McDowall and Larry Sawyer first saw the impact of the Building for Kids through their daughter when they brought her to the museum as a child. From watching her slide down the A-maze-ing Heart Slide to seeing her play dress up with friends in the Grandma’s Attic exhibit, they witnessed firsthand the power of learning through play. The Building for Kids “makes learning fun and when learning is fun, then it becomes something kids want to do. You learn, and then you learn to enjoy it, and then because you enjoy it, you learn more,” explained Larry.

In addition, kids at the museum are exposed to a world of opportunities that they might not otherwise have access to. Debra and Larry believe that early exposure to a wide range of opportunities in the arts, sciences, and humanities can broaden a child’s mind and expand their future potential.

Now with their daughter grown and with Debra serving on the Board of Directors for the museum, they continue to see the long-term benefits of having the Building for Kids in the community, including the impact on tourism, employee retention, and child development. Debra and Larry have made a point of investing in kids and the shared future of our local community. “The future is with our children and if we are not helping all of our children, we can’t expect them to develop into their full potential and be able to have the best future possible for the community,” said Debra.

As founding members of the Dr. John and Sally Mielke Bold Hearts Legacy Circle, Debra and Larry have made a planned gift to continue their legacy beyond their lifetime. They look forward to continuing to support the growth of the museum as it adapts with the ever-evolving population and needs of our community.

Do you want to leave a legacy that will impact kids and their adults for generations to come? Join the Bold Hearts Legacy Circle.

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