Building Character in Our Community.
The Golden Rule Award is Established.

In the late 1990s, Helen Katz saw that local students were often being recognized for sports achievements or good grades, but rarely for good character.

Seeing this clear need for character education and desiring to reward students who exemplify worthy character traits, Helen approached elementary, middle and high school principals and superintendents in Glynn County with her vision for establishing a program to acknowledge students of all ages who live by the "Golden Rule Law of Life." "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for what you do to others will bring good or bad consequences to your own life," had been a rule of life for Helen and she wished to reward local students whose actions and activities demonstrate this fundamental ideal.

When local educators embraced her proposal, Helen generously established The Katz-Helen and Ray Whittle, Jr. Foundation as a memorial to her four deceased family members (children Helen and Ray Jr. and husbands Ray Whittle and Morris Katz) and to fund the Award Program in perpetuity. Helen served as the first Chairman of the Foundation's Board that would oversee the work of the organization. In the spring of 2000, the very first Golden Rule Law of Life Character Awards were presented to students from the 1999-2000 school year. And it was just the beginning.

Closely following the progress of character education programs in schools and corporations around the nation, Helen pressed for more forms of character building in local schools, for both students and teachers. Soon "Character Corners" were established in school libraries with books and resources on character education available to students, teachers, parents and staff.

Today, The Golden Rule Awards have grown to include schools throughout Glynn and McIntosh counties, recognizing and rewarding students at every grade level, as well as teachers and staff members, who exemplify this law of life. Golden Rule Awards have been awarded to thousands of individuals since the program’s inception in 1999.

On January 11, 2005, Helen Whittle Katz lost her battle with cancer. Yet like the enduring qualities of the character traits she exhibited and championed throughout her life, her guiding vision and her passion for The Golden Rule Law of Life live on in the work of the Foundation that bears her family's names.

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