Monthly Archives: September 2014

    • Custom Awards for the Cody Project

      We love what we do and it's wonderful when our work makes a difference. Here's the story of the Cody Project and the custom awards we created for their recent golf tournament. With custom awards, you can create a truly unique trophy specific to your organization.

      The Cody Project

      Cody Project LogoThe Cody Project is a wonderful tribute to a little baby boy who's life ended much too soon. His loving family keeps his memory alive through the Cody Project, a non-profit organization that supports children's charities, including the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. The Cody Project is personal—it originates with the inspiration of one family and is maintained with family and friends. Many of the people associated with the project, including some board members, work uncompensated for their efforts. This ensures that donations support children and families.

      Memorial Golf Tournament

      Awards for the Cody Project 2014 Golf Tournament. Awards for the Cody Project 2014 Golf Tournament.

      Russ Foster, founder of the Cody Project, recently came to us with a request for custom awards for a memorial golf tournament, which is also a fundraiser for the charity. He wanted the Cody Project logo be featured on the awards. Our president Jeff worked with Russ on the design, and together they created custom acrylic awards featuring the Cody Project logo. With graduated sizes for 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, and other categories for tournament winners, these custom awards were the perfect way to acknowledge players at the tournament. What makes a custom award a winner for an organization? By having the logo incorporated into the award, every time the recipient looks at it, they are reminded of the organization. Many times an award recipient is a donor to the organization; the charity says top of mind, reminding the award winner to give, adding to the longevity of the award.

      The Outcome?

      The winners! The winners!

      With 129 participants attending the event, Russ's tournament was able to raise $10,000. Proceeds from the tournament will support charities including the NICU at Swedish Hospital and Provail, along with the Cody Project Endowment. It’s great that we can help wonderful organizations and charities, such as the Cody Project, raise funds to continue their work. Thank you Russ for sharing your story with us!

      Cheers, Jessica

    • How to Display Kids' Medals

      Create a Medal Display with a Shadowbox

      Just like you, I'm a mom of kids who get trophies and medals. I also have a type-A personality and like my home to be neat and organized. What does a parent do with the multiple trophies and awards their child earns through sports and activities? One solution is to proudly display them!

      Today's blog starts a series on How to Display Awards. The first topic and project I tackled in my home was displaying my daughter's numerous medals.

      My daughter kept her medals buried in her closet in a ziplock bag. Even though she was proud of earning them, they didn't have a place of honor in our home. An easy DIY solution was to arrange her medals in a shadow box. Not only does it display her accomplishments, but it personalizes and decorates her bedroom.

      bag of medals How Brenna's precious medals were stored, buried in the bottom of her closet.

      How to Create a Medal Display

      First I visited my local Aaron Brothers store with my daughter and her bag of medals, and together we chose two shadowboxes - one for her music medals and one for her dance medals. Brenna chose white boxes with a decorative edge to match the furniture in her room, but there were many size and color options available to match any decor.

      With the help of the friendly staff at Aaron Brothers, we arranged Brenna's medals on the unopened shadowboxes and figured out a general idea of what would go where. I snapped a photo with my phone so I would remember when I got home.

      orchestra medals How I laid out the orchestra medals at Aaron Brothers.
      Dance Medals Here is the layout of dance medals.

      Since there were only three medals to work with, I started with the easier display of Brenna's music medals to get my technique down. After that box was finished, I tackled the dance medals.


      Here's the process I used to mount the medals in the shadow boxes.

      Materials needed: medals, shadow box, small screwdriver, ruler, double stick tape, straight pins

      Step 1: Using the screwdriver, unscrew the back of the shadow box.

      Step 2: Remove the foam core from the shadow box.

      shadow box Remove foam core from shadow box. If not included, cut foam core to fit using an craft knife.

      Step 3: Using the ruler, arrange the medals on the foam core and then attach with pins. I used straight sewing pins I already had in my craft closet. I pinned the medal through the loop at the top and then again on the edge where the neck drape folds over the foam core. For the dance medals, a secured many of them to the back with double stick tape.

      Mounting the medals Arrange the medals on the foam core. I chose to display the engraved side of the medal to show the accomplishment and used pins to keep the medals place.

      Many people make slits in the foam core and then slip the neck drapes through, but I was afraid I would ruin the backing. Instead I folded the neck drape over the edge and secured with pins.

      Pinning the neck drape to the top of the foam core. Pinning the neck drape to the top of the foam core.

      For the dance shadowbox, I also included some other keepsakes with the display, such as Brenna's number from a competition and a brooch from a costume.

      Step 4: Put the foam core back into the shadow box. I tucked all of the extra neck drape fabric between the foam core and the backing. Then I re-screwed the backing onto the shadowboxes.

      Extra neck drape ribbon Here's the extra neckdrape fabric from all of those dance ribbons. I tucked it behind the foam core before re-attaching the backing of the boxes.
      Completed shadow boxes Completed shadow boxes! Now they are ready to be hung on the wall.

      Step 5: Hang on the wall and admire the display! Be sure to use the correct hardware for hanging. Our boxes were pretty heavy and required two large nails each.

      The finished display! The finished display!

      Brenna loves her new medal display and so do I! These shadowboxes turned out great and are a fun decoration in her room and a great way to honor her accomplishments. Give it a try with your child's medals!

      Stay tuned for my next trophy display project!

      Cheers, Jessica

    • A Moms Opinion Of Participation Trophies

      Once again, participation trophies have come under fire in the media. This time it’s Glenn Beck. He makes the argument "...Those who disagree with the practice often point to participation trophies as the 'wussification' of America." Here’s the link to his article.

      For disclosure sake, I DO own a trophy company. And our company DOES make money from selling participation trophies. So from that perspective, I’m definitely a fan.

      Soccer Pal Who knew this little guy could cause so much controversy?

      But my first and most important job is as a MOM of two girls – one kid in elementary school, and one just entering high school. I am at the sweet spot of this argument - an intelligent, engaged parent who makes the decision about giving (or not giving) my kids participation trophies.

      If you can take the “owner of a trophy shop” piece out of it, here is how I feel about the issue.

      One Mom's Opinion

      Just like Glenn Beck, I don’t want my children to grow up to be entitled lazy brats. As adults, I would like them to be happy, well-adjusted members of society, living on their own and supporting themselves. I don’t want them to feel like they are “owed” anything. I want them to possess a strong work ethic, earning what they want without feeling entitled to anything.

      AND at the same time, I think participation trophies are a good thing for my kids. And here's why: I don’t see a participation trophy as something they are entitled to OR something that they have to earn. I see it as a memento of a season, like a scrapbook or a trading coin. A prize they receive for getting off their butts, being healthy, and putting themselves out there.

      I see participation trophies similar to souvenirs from a trip. It’s a small thing you keep to remind you of the fun you had and the memories you made. A memento. And if it's given with thought and care, it can become a treasured reminder of childhood.

      A small participation trophy, metal or dog tag doesn’t make my kids feel entitled or lazy any more than a party favor from a birthday they attend or a prize from a school event.

      That being said, I would agree that large, championship trophies have no place as participation trophies. Tall, multi-post trophies or crystal sports awards are meant for winners that earn them. If you work hard as a team to be the best, you deserve the hardware to prove it.

      The Age Component

      I also feel that participation trophies are better for younger children vs. older kids and teens. Young kids who are just starting out their sports or activity careers may be motivated to play with the lure of a trophy at the end of the season. Little kids think they are really cool, more like a toy. In my experience, the trophies will be played with (and sometimes broken) and that’s ok.

      Once a kid get into middle school, I don’t feel there's as much of a need for those items any more. By this time, kids will have tried a number of different sports and activities and have figured out what they enjoy and have a natural talent for.

      At this older age, a better way to acknowledge participation is with clothing, such as a jersey or sweatshirt, a useful piece of equipment, such as a water bottle or duffle bag, or a picture of the team. At this point in the kids’ career, a pep item for team pride makes more sense than a participation trophy.

      I think what makes me the most mad about this debate is when people who don’t like participation trophies say that people who do are codling and harming their kids and our country as a whole. We all want what’s best for our kids and our country, and I believe there can be more than one “right” answer.

      There would be no team at all if none of the children had “participated”. If the lure of a participation trophy is the carrot to get kids, especially little kids, involved, then I think they are a good thing. It's all about the meaning you put into the awards - how they are presented, what the coach says about the kids and the season. For tips on how to make sports trophies meaningful, read my past post on the subject here.

      If you feel different, I would love to hear your thoughts. And for the record, Glenn Beck, as a mother of two AND the owner of a trophy company, I respectfully disagree with your stand. But I appreciate you putting it out there for us to continue to debate.

      Cheers, Jessica

    3 Item(s)

    Trophies Awards