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Heart of Gold Award

Each year NISSA presents the “Mary Dore Heart of Gold Award” to one, or more people or businesses, that have been instrumental in all that we do and have shown an ongoing commitment to raise funds and provide support to families affected by the death of a child.  

The award is named after our founder, Mary Dore, quite simply because when we created the award for the individuals who go above and beyond to help us support those families affected by this tragedy, no other name fit.  

The award is presented each year, and beginning in 2019 it will be presented at our gala event, “Night Under the Stars” in Coeur d’Alene, ID. 

This Year\’s Winner


Aileen Carrell – 2019 Mary Dore Heart of Gold Award Winner

On August 7th, 2019 at our annual \”Night Under the Stars\” gala, Aileen Carrell was awarded the Mary Dore Heart of Gold award. This prestigious award was presented to her in honor of our founder Mrs. Mary Dore. The Mary Dore Heart of Gold Award was inaugurated in 2003 in memory of the late Mrs. Mary Dore, who was not only an advocate for bereavement support for those who suffered the death of their baby to SIDS but also the founder of Northwest Infant Survival and SIDS Alliance. 

The recipient of the Mary Dore Heart of Gold Award must have demonstrated, over a significant period of time, dedication to the mission and vision of Northwest Infant Survival and SIDS Alliance, combined with a passion for serving bereaved families and a passionate, giving heart. Aileen exemplifies the qualities of what a leader and volunteer for NISSA should be. Her volunteerism with NISSA runs deep with over 15 years of service in many roles including interim executive director, board president peer support specialist for bereaved families, safe sleep educator and board member. NISSA is honored to have Aileen\’s talents, passion and leadership on their board of directors.

Past Winners

2015  –  Allison and Aaron Key & Christina Pezzner

2014  –  Roger Pardo

2013  –  Helen Cook

2012  –  Lee Family

2011  –  King County Medical Examiner’s Office

2010  –  Wendell Tobiason

2009  –  Dore Family