The Imagination Library has many volunteers and community members who devote a tremendous amount of energy to helping the program grow. In 2015, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Legend Award was created as a way of recognizing these individuals. David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation, said,
“We are blessed that so many individuals tirelessly work to launch and sustain the program in their community. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library’s Legends are those folks who have been at it for quite a while, who have overcome personal obstacles to lead and inspire, and who have built a local presence with the strength and capacity to provide the Imagination Library to their children for decades to come.”
This year, the award was given to Six Nations Imagination Library from Canada. After a year of seeking funds and support their team officially began registering children in June of this year. Holly Frank spearheaded efforts to launch the program and was on hand to accept the award during Homecomin' 2015. She said,
“It was a moment of shock and awe with a huge rush of excitement. It was hard to believe that the Six Nations Imagination Library was called up to the stage to accept the Legend Award, we were so lost in the moment with happiness and joy.”
Holly says they will use the funds to register more children and "give them the many gifts a book brings."
The Legend Award is funded by a grant from the Dollywood Foundation. Recipients of the Legend Award receive $1000 for use within their local Imagination Library. This award was created in memory of Gord Kretz. Gord was the founding member and Treasurer of the Dollywood Foundation Canada.
There was no person more responsible for the Imagination Library's presence in Canada than Gord. Sadly, in 2015 he succumbed to a brain tumor leaving behind his lovely wife and three children. He handled his illness just like he led his life--with compassion, wisdom, patience and humor.