Former state Sen. Bill Purcell was honored recently for his work on children’s issues.
Purcell, who represented Scotland County in the General Assembly, was given the Legislative Legacy Award by Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.
The presentation was made last week at the statewide Learning & Leadership Summit in Raleigh.
The award is presented to a retiring or retired member of the General Assembly who has demonstrated a lifetime of leadership in children’s issues.
The ceremony was attended by more than 500 of social service workers, medical personnel, elected officials, child advocates, prevention experts, and parents and grandparents.
Purcell, a retired Laurinburg pediatrician, was honored for his commitment to supporting children and families, both as a doctor and in the General Assembly. He was also recognized for his long-term service on the Child Fatality Task Force, leadership as co-chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations and Health Care Committees, and key involvement on the Public Health Task Force and the Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity.
“Sen. Purcell has dedicated his life to helping children thrive, and we are grateful for his work on their behalf,” said Rosie Allen Ryan, PCANC president and CEO. “We are honored to acknowledge his leadership to helping children have safe, stable, nurturing, and healthy environments at home, at school, and in their communities.”
Ryan said Purcell was recognized for strongly advocating against corporal punishment in the schools and for strategies to reduce infant mortality.
During his time in the legislature, Purcell helped pass the following legislation related to children: booster seat law; rear seat belt law; ATV safety law; bike helmet law; banning smoking in bars and restaurants; expanding health care coverage for children; bullying and violence prevention in schools; and child care nutrition and activity standards.
PCANC is the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect.