2013 Golden George Awards

31 Dec

The 2013 edition of the Golden George Awards were announced earlier today. This is our 4th year of doing this. I think this year’s edition in the Citizen/Individual division is the strongest we’ve had yet. The Celebrity division was strong this year with musical talent and artists. The Business/Organization/Charity/Community division was good this year as well.

To explain again, the Golden George Awards are inspired by the character George Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life. I look for good stories year around of people doing great things in their community – basically people living the Christmas spirit year around, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christmas story. People who make the list are rugged individuals, exceptional, do kind acts, are charitable, enterprising, great volunteers, heroes, inspirational, creative, and just good friends and neighbors. They can be regular people, businesses, charities, communities, or celebrities. We break them down into three categories. Also each year we do the Potter Awards for everyone who is opposite of our Golden George Award winners. Here’s the list!


1. Madison Root, Oregon – Citizen
Madison Root needed braces. So Madison set out to do what she thought was the responsible thing to do – earn the money herself for her braces. Her family owns a farm and one of their products is mistletoe. Madison went into business on the street of her town, only to be told that she couldn’t sell her product, but could beg for the money instead. Her story went viral, and thankfully she now has a thriving mail order business for her mistletoe. Last check, Madison now employed 30 some employees.

2. Chris Cox, South Carolina – Citizen
The man who became a national sensation when he started mowing and taking care of the trash in Washington, D.C. at national monuments during the government shut down this past fall.

3. Tuffy Gessling, Missouri – Citizen
Tuffy made the news this year and really never intended to. He was just performing what has been done for years and years in his profession – as a rodeo clown making fun of politicians. Tuffy was the rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair who got a lifetime ban for his act involving the wearing of an Obama mask which upset a few people who need to know how to lighten up and get a life.

4. Jack MacDonald, Washington – Citizen
Jack passed away in September at the age of 98. To the surprise of his family and friends, MacDonald had amassed a fortune of $187.6 million to be exact and left it to various charities in the state of Washington. He kept his secret fortune hidden by doing simple things like riding the bus and clipping coupons.–abc-news-personal-finance.html?vp=1

5. Doug Holladay, Utah – Citizen
Doug was dying of terminal cancer. He had one last wish and it came true. Doug’s wish was to help others. He was able to go ring the bell and attend to a Salvation Army Red Kettle one last time. Despite needing to sit in a wheel chair and use an oxygen tank Doug was able to work the kettle at a local Wal-Mart in Riverdale, Utah. Doug has been working for the Salvation Army for 15 years during their Christmas Red Kettle campaigns. He just wanted to give back one last time. Let’s hope that Doug has a Merry Christmas, as this one is expected to be his last.

6. Jack Hoffman – Citizen
Jack Hoffman is a 7 year old boy who became a national sensation last spring. Jack is fighting cancer. Growing up in Nebraska he’s naturally a Cornhusker football fan. When he was 5 he saw his first Husker game and given a Rex Burkhead number 22 jersey, which led to a relationship with Rex and the team. This year at the annual Spring Game Jack was put into the game where he ran for a touchdown. The touchdown made the ESPY Awards this year, and Jack gets a Golden George Award as well!

7. Dalton Dingus, Kentucky – Citizen
Last year Dalton went for a world record to receive the most Christmas cards. He took in over 500,000 cards! Dalton lost his life after battling cystic fibrosis in January. Last year Dalton made our list for his Christmas card record. This year we recognize him once again. We know Dalton today is celebrating Christmas with our Father in Heaven.–abc-news-topstories.html

8. Zach Sobeich, Minnesota – Citizen
Zach lost his life earlier this year after a long battle with cancer. Before he died he recorded an amazing song called Clouds. The song was used to remember him at a performance at the Mall of America earlier this month when 5,000 people turned out to perform “Clouds” as a choir.

9. William Riley Knight, Indiana – Citizen
William Knight lost his life in a tragic accident this month. He had been married only 7 hours. William and his wife Nikki stopped to assist a stranded motorist when he was struck by several vehicles. The couple was on their way home from their reception when they stopped to help woman who was stuck in the snow. While standing by the car, another vehicle stuck William and the stranded motorist, and then two more vehicles struck him. Knight served as an Army Ranger and served in Operation Desert Storm.

10. Larissa – Citizen
Larissa and Ian met in college in 2005. A tragic accident left Ian without the ability to care for himself and speak. Larissa had a choice to make. She married Ian, the man that she loved. Check out the video.

11. Davion Navar Henry, St Petersburg, FL – Citizen
Fifteen year old Davion humbled himself by going before St. Mark Church in St. Petersburg, Florida this past September. Davion has spent his life in foster care. Davion had a plea for the congregation to find someone to adopt him. We give this brave kid a Golden George Award.

12. Angela Prattis, Chester Township, PA – Citizens
Angela does a lot of good for her community. Every day she distributes meals to the hungry in Chester Township. But due to an ordinance she is being fined $600/day that she distributes food. However, Angela is not stopping.

13. Florida Girl – Citizen
A young Florida girl didn’t want her deaf parents to miss out on her school’s holiday concert. The Kindergartener signed the entire show for her parents while the class was on stage singing.

14. Salvation Army Donor – Citizen
Every year we put stories of anonymous donors on our list. This year another one makes it into the Golden George Awards. This time for dropping a one once gold bar into a Salvation Army Red Kettle.

15. Layaway Santas – Citizens
Every year we have stories about Layaway Santas, individuals who go into stores and pay the tabs for everyone who has something on layaway before Christmas. We have several more instances of that this year. Just go a Google search and you’ll find all kinds of them. Here’s a couple.

16. Nick Vujcic – Citizen
Nick is an Australian born Christian evangelist, who has no limbs. But Nick has not let that stop him in life. He does anything that he wants, or figures out a way to do it. While it may take some time to figure out, he usually finds a way. Nick’s non-profit called Life Without Limbs provides Christian encouragement to those struggling with various issue. We place him on the list as an individual for recognizing the odds that he has overcame and his shining example to all.

17. Ori Feibush, Philadelphia, PA – Citizen
Ori spent $20,000 of his own money to remove 40 tons of debris from lots in the city. Ori was fed up after opening his own coffee shop that the city was not cleaning up the lot next door. So he took it upon himself to do the work. However, the city then threatened legal action, among other things declaring the area a safety hazard and citing that it was unfair to tax payers.

18. Temar Boggs, Lancaster, PA – Citizen
Temar is a 15 year old hero. Back in July Temar was on his way to hang out with some friends when he heard a 5 year old girl being abducted in their neighborhood. He didn’t sit around, he jumped into action and chased down the abductor.

19. Max Siepert, Greenfield, WI – Citizens
Eleven year old max donated money to his local police station. He walked into the station and gave $10.03 to the front desk officer and then walked away. The police used surveillance cameras to track him down and thank him. The reason for the donation – he felt inspired after learning about heroic efforts of officers from 9/11 attacks in New York City.

20. William Paterson University Football Players, Wayne, New Jersey – Citizens
Four players walked into a local store when the door was left unlocked but the store was supposed to be closed. The four players went around the store in search of batteries and sun glasses. They made their selections, walked up to the counter, put down money, waved at the camera and then left the store.

21. Dr. Roger Curry, Omaha, Nebraska – Citizens
Dr. Curry is my dentist, and a good one. Over the summer he was recognized by the Omaha World Herald for his years of charity work. He is a devoted Christian and does much work in rehab centers.

22. Michael Goodman and Claude Soffel – Citizens
Michael Goodman was surfing Facebook when he ran into a name from his past. Claude Soffel was a victim of Michael’s 35 years ago. Michael mugged Claude. Michael sent a note to Claude apologizing for the crime. Best part about it all was Claude’s forgiving attitude.

23. Santa Brothers – Citizens
Two brothers have been getting their picture taken together with Santa Claus for 34 straight years. They just kept on doing it, even as they got older. And now they even bring their own kids for their annual picture.


1. Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs/Mike Rowe Works – Celebrities
TV host Mike Rowe is on a mission. A mission to bring dignity back to the American workplace. His new organization called MikeRoweWorks Foundation is challenging the absurd belief that a four year college degree is the only pathway to success.

2. Duck Dynasty Cast – Celebrities
Outside of the controversy with the A&E Network and Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, the cast of the show belongs on the list to begin with. A good wholesome program with a God-fearing family is refreshing to see in mainstream America. Whether you agree or disagree with Phil’s comments I believe anyone with a brain can see the whole media storm was an overreaction, perhaps on both sides. Thankfully the Duck Dynasty program will still be on television in 2014.

3. Bono – Celebrities
Bono gave an impromptu street concert in Dublin, Ireland on Christmas Eve that was fun to watch! I’m sure it was amazing to see in person. Aside from this great Christmas performance, which by the way was for charity, Bono contributes to many different causes.

4. Beyonce – Celebrities
This might be the Year of Music for the Golden George Awards. Following Bono we have Beyonce, and further down the list some more artists and an album. In the case of Beyonce she gave a dying little girl her wish, which came with an amazing heartfelt reaction.

5. Paul Walker – Celebrities
Actor Paul Walker passed away a month ago in a tragic accident. By all accounts Walker was one of the best men in Hollywood. One of the stories that I found amazing is a true story of him going into a jewelry store and paid for a $10,000 ring for an Iraq War Veteran who was there with his fiancee picking out a wedding ring.

6. Ashton Kutcher – Celebrities
Ashton Kutcher gave one of the most inspiring speeches of the year at the Teen Choice Awards. While it wasn’t anything groundbreaking, it was unexpected. To see a popular celebrity talk about exceptionalism, hard work, and being a good individual, and speaking to American youth was refreshing to see!

7. Ty Warner, Santa Barbara, CA – Celebrities
Millionaire Ty Warner of Ty Inc, the Beanie Baby company gave away $20,000 to a woman who simply gave him directions. The woman, Jennifer Vasilakos was at a street corner trying to raise money for stem cell procedure needed to save her life due to kidney failure and does not qualify for a transplant.

8. Toby Mac, New York City – Celebrities
Christian rapper Toby Mac surprised a family when their returning husband and father rushed onto stage to greet them.

9. Andrea Bocelli – Celebrities
Famous Christian singer with an amazing voice gave church goers in Miami Bech, Florida an amazing unannounced performance on Christmas Day.

10. “Believe Again” album produced by Glenn Beck featuring composer Clyde Bowen. – Celebrities
This is an amazing Christmas album with an eclectic mix of genres and voices featuring our favorite Christmas classics, and some new material.

11. Bill Cosby – Celebrities
Cosby told John Stewart on the Daily Show to stop cursing back in November.

12. Prince Amukamara, New York Giants – Celebrities
Amukamara told Muscle and Fitness Magazine that not only is he a Christian, he also abstains from sex and alcohol. Great role model.

13. Srinivas Rao – Celebrities
Srinivas Rao has an amazing book called The Art of Being Unmistakeable, which I suggest every young professional and student needs to read before tackling the world. Srinivas also hosts which features podcasts and resources from some of the most creative minds in business and entertainment.

14. Jason F Wright – Celebrities
Jason F Wright, author of Christmas Jars has a new book out called Picturing Christmas. He also has a recent post on his web site about a touching story reflecting on the passing of his father many years ago.

15. Megyn Kelly – Celebrities
The Fox News host got into a controversy in early December over a phony argument over some comments she made considering the race of Santa Claus. Once again, another overreaction by the media over complete non-sense.

16. George W. Bush – Celebrities
Former President George W. Bush sent a touching letter to Cade Foster. Foster is the University of Alabama kicker who missed a crucial field goal during the big game against Auburn. The letter told Kade who wears the number 43 “that life has setbacks, but you’ll be stronger in time” and ended with “Sincerely, Another 43”, referencing Bush’s number as America’s 43rd president.


1. San Francisco Bat Kid, Miles and the Make A Wish Foundation – Organization
Miles got a wish come true this past fall when he became the hero of the Bay Area and captured the heart of the nation. Miles got to be “Batkid” for a day running around San Francisco with Batman himself to rescue damsels in distress and fight crime. The event was put on by volunteers, in conjunction with the city and the Make A Wish Foundation.

2. WestJet Airlines – Organization
WestJet Airlines surprised passengers earlier this month with an amazing Christmas stunt. Before boarding their flight in Toronto, the passengers were each asked what they wanted for Christmas. Once in the air the WestJet employees scrambled into four teams making purchases that came out in wrapped packages on the baggage carousel at the the passengers destination. There they were greeted to early Christmas presents.

3. Farm Community near Champagne, Illinois – Community
Kyle Hendrix was only 31 when he lost his battle to cancer. Kyle was a respected young man in the community, and a farmer. After his passing his neighbors pitched in to get his harvest complete, along with the work came a fitting tribute seeing miles of tractors going down the roads to complete the work.

4. Two Million Bikers Ride, the 9/11 Motorcycle Rally in D.C. – Community
Everyone was amazed at the number of motorcyclists that rode to D.C. back in September to commemorate the September 11th Attacks. I put this on the list because it’s one of the greatest showing of American Pride, Patriotism, and Citizenship displayed in a long time.

5. Operation Underground Railroad – Organization
This amazing organization was started to combat global sex trafficking.

6. Liberty Bottleworks, Yakima, WA – Organization
Ryan Clark of Liberty Bottleworks took to Facebook to defend his company after a raving message was left on the company Facebook page scrutinizing the business for having no one to provide service over the weekend. Clark, the co-founder of the company defended the practice citing that his employees also had the right to enjoy the holiday weekends off from work just like the angry customer did.

7. Boston Red Sox Owners – Organization
The Red Sox owners took out a full page ad in the St. Louis papers to thank the the city of St. Louis and the Cardinals fans for an amazing World Series. The ad praised the passionate fans and thanked them for a well played series, the kindness and welcome displayed to the team and opposing fans. This is great sportsmanship.

8. Taylor University, Michigan – Organization
Taylor University makes our list another year for their annual Silent Night Basketball Game. This is an event where the crowd stays quiet until the 10th point of the game is scored, then the crowd goes wild. They rush onto the court and dance and make noise. Then later in the game they sing the Christmas song “Silent Night”.

9. Isabella Weems, Founder of Origami Owl – Organization
Isabella is only 17 years old, but already a millionaire. She started Origami Owl at age 14. This year the company is projected to make $250 million off it’s line of jewelry products. Her business model allows individuals to sell the products themselves. So why did she start it? It’s a great story, Isabella wanted to buy a car when she was 16 years old. The full story involved a little help from her parents, matching a $350 investment, and the business went from there.

10. Pastor Robert Dekker, Delaware – Organization
Pastor Dekker pulled off a July 4th church service on Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. The After the town denied his permit to hold the service on the public beach he went ahead anyway with his plans calling it Freedom Festival. Around 1,500 people showed up to the service including a sermon and music.

11. NaNoWriMo – Organization
National Novel Writing Month takes place every November. I took part in it this year and met the challenge – to write 50,000 words during the month of November. This is an unconventional listing on our Awards, but I place it here because I feel this one of the creative type of things that we need more of in society. Also taking place right before Christmas, it’s a good little year end exercise to take part in.

12. Mercury One – Response to the Tornado Victims in Oklahoma – Organization
Mercury One is my favorite charity as all of the funds raised go straight to victims who benefit from the charity. 100%! This year Mercury One gets placed on our list for their work in Oklahoma after the devastating tornadoes hit.

13. Melbourne, Florida Police Department – Organization
The Melbourne Florida PD spent Christmas giving out tickets. Not for speeding though. The Police Officers were busy stopping drivers and giving them lottery tickets.’

Potter Awards

Dayna Morales – Dayna Morales is the New York waitress who happens to be a homosexual – whatever, no big deal, but you’ll recall her being the waitress who drew up a phony receipt in order to make her look like a victim and shame a family that had served her. This is one of the worst things someone can do to someone else – frauding someone else for perceived differences and making oneself look like a victim for attention and sympathy. It’s absolutely disgusting.

2. Claremont United Methodist Church, outside Los Angeles, California – Claremont United Methodist Church decided to take a different approach to their nativity scene this year. This year, they made a Nativity Scene featuring Trayvon Martin. Do I really need to get into this? Absurd and asinine.

3. Alexander Torres – Alexander didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas this year. So he acted like any other disgruntle gift receiving would do. He threatened the gift giver with a knife and got arrested. The gift giver was his father, on top of everything. And the gift he wanted for Christmas – an iPhone 5.

4. Knockout Game – The Knockout Game made news this year as a startling street fad going on across the country where young people walk up to an unsuspecting stranger and slug them with the intentions of knocking the victim out.

5. Brooklyn Teens – At a Brooklyn mall teenagers gathered to combine flash mob and the knockout game into one horrible scene.

6. Florida Theater Brawl – In Florida a massive brawl broke out in a theater this week involving more that 600 people and took 60 cops to break up.

7. Obama Administration/Obamacare
This year’s terrible rollout of Obamacare and people losing their healthcare coverage gets the Obama Administration another mention in the Potter Awards.

8. Media – Coverage of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela did a lot of good things in this world before he passed away. He also did some very bad things before his transformation. You wouldn’t know that after the national media coverage of the days after his passing. Mandela was essentially granted the role of deity from the media.

9. A&E – A&E Network makes the list for their poor decision to fire Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty show. Thankfully A&E came to their senses after Christmas and Duck Dynasty, including Phil, will be back on the air.

10. Barbara Walters – Makes the Potter Awards for her recent remarks saying how she expected President Obama to be “the second coming”. This is a glimpse into the mindset of pop culture that helped get Obama elected twice.

11. City of Portland, Oregon – Portland makes the list for not allowing our Golden George Award winner Madison Root to sell her mistletoe.

12. Chester Township, Pennsylvania – Chester, Pennsylvania came into conflict with one of our Golden George winners for fining Angela Prattis for feeding the hungry in her community because she didn’t have proper permits and wasn’t obeying zoning laws. Ridiculous!

13. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Philadelphia makes the list (sorry Pennsylvania for getting two cities on the list) for threat of legal action towards Ori Feibush. What was Feibush’s “crime”? He was simply using his own time and money to clean up abandoned lots so he can start his business after the city was dragging its feet on the cleanup.


It’s A Wonderful Life – Christmas Series Message

31 Dec

This is the transcript from the conclusion of this year’s Christmas series, “It’s A Wonderful Life”. It was a five part series that explored the short story by Phillip Van Doren Stern and the classic Christmas movie it inspired by Frank Capra. We went through the story, the plot, the filming, and trivia of the movie, and then in part 5 I concluded with this message.

My daughter Greta was born a week ago today. Being the oldest of four children and having a large extended family I’m used to having babies and little children around. I know what they always say, “having a child changes you.” It really does.

My wife and I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of our baby the previous nine months. I knew I would be so happy when the child was here. We decided we would wait until the birth to know the gender. We figured being our first born, and around Christmas, we wanted the full surprise. I’m happy we did it that way. I knew it would be such a happy day. Yet, a few months ago, despite everything to look forward to with the arrival of our child I slipped into a depression, a moment of weakness and feeling down about life like I had never felt before. There was no particular reason, there were several circumstances that played into it all. Pressure and being dissatisfied with work, the anxiety of life changes, feeling like everything was coming at me so fast, and we had extended family issues going on, the common money problems, I was also feeling homesick, and just full of doubt about what I had accomplished up to this time in my life having just turned 35. I let those doubts creep into my mind….and now looking back I realize just what non-sense it was, and how trivial those things are, and how wrong I was about my life. I found out how many people in my life do care about me and love me. I won’t go into all the details of what happened in those few months, but only to say that I learned a lot about myself, a lot about my wife, about my family and friends, and life in general and today thanks to everyone close to me, and the arrival of my baby girl I am a better person….and I can say without a doubt, that it is indeed “A Wonderful Life”.

I have been blessed with an amazing life I have lived so far. I have been blessed with an amazing family. I have been blessed with the best wife I could hope for. I love you so much Kim. I have been blessed with talents and work that I find meaning in. I have been blessed with this new child, my daughter Greta, who means more than anything to me. I would trade all of my future success to ensure the protection and happiness of my wife and baby.

It sure does change you bringing another life into the world. I’m amazed at the thought of watching her grow and seeing her talents develop, and learning of her hopes and dreams and being there for her…just as my parents were there for me, and my wife is there for me now. That will be amazing. Though…I cherish these little moments now, while she is a newborn and I know one day I will look back on them and wonder how it’s possible that time could go so fast and my baby girl will be all grown up.

Life is precious. And I thank God for that. During Christmas time we celebrate the birth of a child, Jesus Christ our Savior…and I know that I certainly will remember that gift each and every day when I look into the eyes of my daughter.

Whether you find it in a message from the Bible, or in a short story, or the film, or found in our loved ones around us….”It’s A Wonderful Life”

Let’s end today with the song played at the end of the movie…Auld Lang Syne. Here’s Roger McGuinn’s version.

Kyrie Eleison, Las Dao, Merry Christmas Everyone!


Let’s get started…again

10 Mar

Today is March 10th. I had hoped by now I would have completed more so far this year. January was rough, February didn’t get any better. I started out the year sick. I came down with the flu on New Years Eve and it took nearly six weeks before I felt 100%. I am a type of person who needs a sense of balance in my life and when that isn’t right it takes a long time to regain that again. Work got pretty busy too. So here I am now on March 10th and feeling like I can get back into the swing of things with this site, the shows, and my writing projects.

If you’re a friend on Facebook you’ve probably followed along with my drink recipes. I’ll have a separate post on that in a bit. I do plan to make that into a video series.

American Awakening will also return soon. Once again that will be a Monday, Wednesday, Friday deal or maybe just a Monday, Friday deal. We’ll see how it works out.

And of course the standard Badger Benson Shows will start again as well. The general time for those will be Sunday evenings, and special occasions.

Thanks for the following the shows!



12 Jan

I’ve been away since Christmas. I had a nice vacation, and then got sick right before New Years. I had intended to get a show or two in the first week of the year, but it just didn’t happen as I recovered from the flu and then got back into work mode. I’m not exactly sure what is in store in 2013 for this show and the web site. I have some ideas, but time is always a factor. I do know that I will be spending a lot more time devoted to my book ideas. But I’ve been bouncing ideas off Shawn and Joe to start some sort of network. We’ll see what happens and keep you updated. In the meantime, I want to thank Joe Garnet for stepping in to guest host the first show of the new year. Check it out below. Joe talked about recent issues, and also had a little fun in the process.

Also, Joe Garnet was the big winner in the Badger Bowl this year. He correctly picked 22 college football bowl game winners including the national champion Alabama. I finished second with 18 games, and Shawn brought up the rear with 12 games right. It was funny that Joe pays attention the least to college football than myself and Shawn.

Anyhow, I wanted to post a quick update and let everyone know that I’m still around! I hope you had a terrific start to 2013!


Merry Christmas!

26 Dec

I hope everyone out there had a great Christmas yesterday! Mine was wonderful. I always enjoy time with family and watching the kids open and play with their new gifts. The food and drinks and holiday specials on TV are probably my favorite parts of Christmas. All of these things take me back to when I was a kid. It’s no wonder that even when we’re older we still can’t wait for Christmas to come again! In the meantime I’m going to enjoy a few days off, I have another Christmas with the other side of the family, and do some planning for the show and web site for 2013.

I’m not planning on doing any shows until after the New Year, with a possibility that myself and Joe Garnet might do something on New Years Eve. We’ll keep you updated if that happens. Otherwise check out the shows from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Golden George Awards 2012

Christmas Unwrapped

Also check out these interesting article about the real story of St. Nick from The Blaze.


2012 Golden George Awards

24 Dec

The show starts soon this morning with the announcement of the Golden George Awards. But you don’t have to wait, here’s the entire list, starting with bad side of the coin with the Potter Awards. Remember the Golden George Awards are what we give out every year to people doing great things for those around them – it can be individuals, groups, even communities. In 2011 the overall #1 Golden George Award went to a community – Henderson, Texas – which was ground zero last year for the War on Christmas and the town never backed down and won by keeping their displays up. The name Golden George is taken from the character George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Thus the bad side of the awards being the Potters, named after the miserable and mean Mr. Potter. Here’s the 2012 list of Potter and Georges!

2012 Potter Awards

1. Westboro Hate Cult – (Let’s stopping calling them Baptists and a church.) They are a hateful bunch, simple as that. For a long time now the group has gone around protesting (almost celebrating) the deaths of American soldiers while at funerals. Their justification is that believe in tragedy God is punishing America for it’s general acceptance of homosexuality. Along with the funerals of soldiers they often show up at memorial services for those who have died in other tragic events – such as the school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Which is what Westboro decided to to – protest at the funerals of those children and the administrators this past week. Now I haven’t heard or seen if they actually did. But just the suggestion that they might is bad enough to put them on this list in 1st place – The Westboro Hate Cult – number one on the Potter Awards for 2012. No decency, bad manners, hateful, divisive, a total distortion of Christianity, and awful actions.

2. Anonymous – They are the international hacktivist group that had ties to the Occupy Wall Street movement. They too decided to get into the mix over Sandy Hook. Anonymous has had a longtime feud with Westboro. Now it’s received some new life as Anonymous announced a war so to speak against Westboro over their plans to protest the funerals in Connecticut. In the past Anonymous has hacked the Westboro web site. This is not to mention all of the other sites that Anonymous has hacked and releasing private data on numerous occasions. Put politics aside and views of Westboro Hate Cult aside, it’s not right to hack web sites, it’s not right to reveal private information about others. I believe such actions just make the world worse, not better.

3. HBO Host Bill Maher – Earlier this month the foul mouth Bill Maher decided to give his thoughts about Andy Williams. When you think about Christmas music you can’t leave out Andy Williams. But Bill Maher can. See when it comes to entertainment I can usually separate talent and politics. Not so for Bill Maher it would seem as he referred to Andy Williams as “a tea bag idiot”.

4. Delta Airlines – A while back Delta Airlines was in the news for despicable act that occurred on one of their flights. A United States Marine who is now a double amputee was unfortunately put into a situation that resulted in some horrible humiliation. Marine Lance Cpl. Christian Brown was humiliated on this flight to the point of tears. Thankfully plenty of Veterans, including some on the flight have stood up for Brown. We can’t say the same for Delta Airlines. You can read the full story at Badger

5. Feces Attacker – A female college student was attacked on Chicago’s Blue Line transit train earlier this month. Now it’s bad enough when random individuals are attacked for no reason at all. In this case the young woman was attacked by a sock filled with human waste. You can imagine how humiliating this would be. Just disgusting. What kind of animal would do this at random to a total stranger? Our hearts go out to this young woman. We hope that this degenerate attacker will be found and arrested soon.

6. Obama Administration – All I will say here is Benghazi. It’s an outrage. Americans died in this attack. This administration did nothing when they had the power to do so. Now, several families will be without their loved ones this Christmas.

7. News Media – In what could easily be placed at the top of the list is the mainstream media. The news coverage and journalism surround the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut was outrageous. First there was the misidentification of the attacker. Next there were errors in reporting of the attack itself. Then there was the barrage of media into the town in the days after, where reporters shamelessly tried to get comments from the grieving families. All of this is bad enough, then throw on top of it how many were running to condemnation and speculation about the shooter, his family, gun violence, and gun control when there was still warm blood of innocent life on the ground. Truly despicable and sickening.

8. Timothy Taylor and Shequita Cade – parents encourage their teen children to brawl. A video surfaced of a few parents in Georgia encouraging their children to fight. Horrible parents. These children deserve better.

9. Seven and Eleven Year Old Gangstas – From parents to children we go. In early December, Ami Garrett, a 22 year old woman was held at gun point by a pair of little brats outside her church. Ami was quietly waiting in her parents vehicle when the pair of hoodlums approached her and held her at gunpoint for a bit. Ami at first thought they were joking, but quickly realized the situation was real and the gun was real. The boys went away. However, when a local news station showed up to report the story, one of the boys brazenly returned to the scene on camera, scaring Ami once again. Since the boys are juveniles their identities are private, but we can certainly still award them with a Potter Award.

10. Latoya Greenwood and Hickey Thompson – A case of crazy Christmas shoppers. Latoya and Hickey were so unnerved being asked for a receipt when leaving a Best Buy store they decided to beat the elderly store employee.

11. UPS Bandit – A Houston, Texas man, Al Alverson was expecting a delivery, a Christmas gift to be given away. It was brought to the house by FedEx complete with an email confirmation of the delivery. But the package wasn’t at the door. The gift was an iPod mini. Well, as it would turn out my Alverson checked his home security footage and low and behold the thief turned out to be a UPS driver who came later to the home and took the package delivered by FedEx. The UPS driver has since been arrested.

10. Unions – This past year has been full of stories of debates over Unions and Right To Work. There’s also been a handful of stories over Union thugs getting physical with others during these debates. One such instance took place in Michigan during protests over pending legislation there when a union member hit Conservative activist Steven Crowder. Also you’ll recall the Union’s role in the closing of Hostess.

11. Cyber Bank Robber – The U.S. financial industry and online security companies like McAfee issued warnings in December that a Russian cyber criminal would likely attempt to rob United States banking costumers out of millions of dollars very soon. Thankfully, I don’t think this has happened yet. But it is a sign of the times we live in – greed and crime. And what’s worse is for things like this to be taking place this time of the year when people are to be charitable.

12. Nancy Pelosi – During talk of the fiscal cliff situation, Nancy Pelosi took the occasion to suggest the current debacle was somehow the fault of Republicans for caring only about Christmas and not enough about other holidays like Kwanza. You can’t make this stuff up.

13. Harry Belafonte – Well if there’s someone the opposite of Andy Williams it’s likely Harry Belafonte. The talented crooner has always been a vocal leftist, a radical one at that. Recently Belafonte suggested that President Obama just imprison opposition like a third world dictator would. That’s great Harry…are you really that dumb?

14. Rob Parker – Parker, a ESPN reporter suggested that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III isn’t as black as he should be because he has a white fiancee and it’s rumored that RGIII is a Republican. Do we need to say what’s wrong with all of this? Talk about liberal hypocrisy.

15. Black Friday Shoppers – It happens every year. Crazy stories of people shoving, pushing, trampling over others during the weekend following Thanksgiving as shoppers take to the stores for amazing specials. It’s considered the busiest shopping weekend of the year. I say it’s the weekend when our insanity is most on display. People treating others like dirt all for discounts on electronics and other goods. It’s a shameful display of our materialistic nature.

16. Shoe Shoppers – A shoe store in Fort Worth, Texas had a first come first serve release of retro Air Jordan Nike shoes this past week that resulted in shoppers going crazy. The unruly shoppers had be pepper sprayed by police officers in order to take control of the scene. Similar incidents took place around the country due to the release of the retro Michael Jordan inspired shoes. In one case there was even a reported shooting.

17. Christmas Vandals – Every year we see these stories. Random vandalism of Nativity scenes, yard decorations, and public Christmas displays. This year there seemed to be a lot of them. For example, here’s three stories alone – from Virginia, New York, and Boston. One was theft of a Nativity scene, another was a statue of Jesus stolen right from a church, and of all things, thieves stole Christmas trees in one case. You can find the links to each of those stories at Badger

18. Sandra Fluke – Makes our Potter Awards this year. You likely recall Fluke from her controversy with radio host Rush Limbaugh after he referred to her as a slut. This all came about due to Fluke testifying that she didn’t have adequate access to contraception and lobbied for it’s inclusion into mandated healthcare coverage. Let’s talk about selfishness shall we? This was so absurd. Regardless of your thoughts on healthcare, or your objections to Rush Limabugh, Sandra Fluke spent the year whoring herself out – not physically, but as a tool of Obama and the Democratic Party to divide people on a non-sense issue.

19. Piers Morgan – I said the entire media has been horrible this past month in wake of the Connecticut tragedy. The media has been horrible all year long though, we can point to the election coverage for example. Specifically to the recent news coverage of Newtown tragedy we can point to one person as the worst of the worst – Piers Morgan. Morgan has engaged in conversations about gun control (and mind you I think we can always have that discussion) but he utter contempt for those who differ with him and his arrogance has been amazing.

20. Jordan Jackson Elementary School of Mansfield, Massachusetts – To the dismay of many in the community the school in Mansfield, Massachusetts decided to forgo it’s annual holiday concert in favor of an anti-bullying program.

21. Human Light

Dishonorable Mention – Bob Costas – Bob Costas receives a mention for his statements on-air while covering a football game about the tragedy involving the death of a Kansas City Chiefs player and his girlfriend. Costas made a statement against guns, eluding to more control. However, Costas, who I’ve noted in the past to have mostly conservative views, did try to clarify his statement and apologize for what he had said, mostly because the venue was just inappropriate.

2012 Golden George Awards

1. Andy Williams –
Howard Andrew “Andy” Williams, December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012
Is there really any other example of celebrity at Christmas? For years Andy Williams graced our television sets, record players, and later CD players and iPods each Christmas with his Christmas music. Andy left us this year, back in September. But we know that the Christmas Party is still going on with his Father in Heaven. We remember Andy Williams this year on our Golden George List at #1 on the celebrity list.

2. Andrew Breitbart – This could be the year of Andy’s. Our second on the list is Andrew Breitbart, proprietor of web sites like Big Government and, he was a legend. He was one of the most hated individuals on the right by radical leftists. But he was a good man with a big heart. Unfortunately he died of heart problems back in March. Much like Andy Williams, Andrew Breitbart lives on as well!

3. Tim Tebow – It was a pretty rough year for Tim, being signed to a new team, having a constant spotlight on him, and struggling on the field. But make no mistake, faith is still what drives Tebow. He’s a compassionate person and always displaying what’s right about Christianity. He’s a hard worker on and off the field. He contributes to many causes, and his social media use always has good things to say.

4. Mike Huckabee – When the nation was searching for answers after the tragic school shooting a week ago, Mick Huckabee offered the answer to “Where Was God?” It was short, sweet, logical, and non-offensive.

5. David Barton – Barton makes the list once again in 2012 for his work in preserving our national history. Barton’s group is working hard to preserve our documents and offers a number of resources and products on their site. Tim Barton, David’s son was interviewed on the show earlier this month.

6. Penn Jillett – It might seem odd to have an atheist on this list. Penn Jillett however is a reasonable, kind, entertaining, and good hearted individual who will defend all. Penn was recently on the Glenn Beck Show where they discussed faith and liberty. The conclusion was that Penn would defend Christmas, Christianity, as long as people would defend him and trample on his rights.

7. C.L. Bryant – The passionate C.L. Bryant makes our list for his good work. The fiery preacher spoke at FreePac in Dallas during Restoring Love week and I got to hear him in person. C.L’s new movie “Runaway Slave” is brilliant. His work for liberty is to be commended. His charity work is icing on the cake.

8. Robert Griffin III – In what could be called the year of the NFL quarterback, Robert Griffin makes the list. He’s the 2nd NFL star on our list. Griffin was the subject of racist remarks by an ESPN analyst (Who made our Potter Awards) because Griffin has a white wife and is rumored to be a Republican. Griffin’s basic response was that he just tries to do what is right.

9. Mitt Romney – As the summer went on I truly began to learn about Mitt Romney and appreciate him. I used to not like him at all. Slowly I learned about just how good and decent this man is. His work to help others, through his own behind the scenes efforts, his work with charities, his track record of turning around businesses. It’s sad that we won’t see him lead this country. Through it all he and his wife Anne, and their children, and the grandchildren handled this campaign with class and dignity.

10. Randy Blythe – Singer for the rock group Lamb of God. Randy was outraged by his audience in Oregon who would not recognize a moment of silence for the Connecticut tragedy. Randy called them out on stage.

11. Drew Brees – Our 3rd NFL QB on the list. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints made $1 million donation to Hurricane Sandy relief.

12. Colts Cheerleaders – Staying with the NFL – Megan M. and Crystal Ann, cheerleaders for the Indianapolis Colts got the ultimate haircut for good after the third quarter of the team’s 20-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills in November. The two shaved their heads in support of Coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia. It was part of a challenge to raise money, $10,000 each for leukemia research.

13. Tyra Banks – Are there too many men on this list? Thankfully the Colts cheerleaders and Tyra Banks fix that. Tyra held her Flawsome Ball to raise money for a New York girls club whose mission is to empower young women. Banks’ Flawsome organization stands for Flaws – accepting who you are, and Awesome – knowing that you are awesome despite those flaws.

14. Lebron James – Move over NFL, let’s talk about an NBA star. Lebron James was awarded the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award this year. The Heat star runs an annual bike-a-thon in his Akron, Ohio hometown. The program is called “Wheels for Education”. It is a 2.6-mile ride that James and 20 pre-selected high school students join in on. The event is part of a two-week camp that focusing on technology and reading courses for over 300 children.

15. Albert Pujols – Now to the world of Major League Baseball. Albert has been featured on the show many times. His Pujols Family Foundation continues to do good things. The foundation improves lives of impoverished families in the Dominican Republic. Albert also does work for American families who have children with Down Syndrome.

16. Rush Limbaugh – Rush has been featured on the show many times as well, sometimes for his remarks, and sometimes for his work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – which is again why we honor him. Rush’s annual radio-telethon for LLS raises millions for research and care. I also applaud him for his new Two-if-by-Tea line of fine tea beverages, which at various times he has used proceeds to go towards charitable causes.

17. Kirk Cameron – His work this year on the film Monumental is something to be acknowledged and praised. Kirk has always been a great individual, a great ambassador for the church and a decent actor and good family man. His jump into saving the country is a welcome one, and starting with the history of the Pilgrims is a much needed lesson. I had to put him on the list.

Citizenship/Individuals or Community

1. Fallen Heroes
Ambassador Stevens and Seals lost in Benghazi
Navy Seal who lost his life in the rescue effort of an American hostage on December 9th.

2. Brian Bailey – Random Kindness is why Brian makes the list. In doing so he displayed the power of the individual and compassion of community. Bailey was thinking that $5 just doesn’t go as far as it does these days. But the Louisville, Kentucky man had an idea to make his $5 turn into more and do something good for someone else. He went to Facebook and organized a group of people to turn out at a local K-Mart where everyone would put $5, or whatever they wanted into a box. The money collected was then given to a random couple that Brian found in the store. Altogether $500 went to a couple that had been struggling and were very appreciative of the act of kindness.

3. Reddit User “Grinthecity” helped out a fellow Reddit user “ProZacDose”. ProZacDose was ashamed he couldn’t provide a good Christmas for his children. Grinthecity stepped in and offered to pay the other individual’s bills.

4. Gerald Sapienza and Nicole Angelillo – This couple will be getting married in the New Year. This happy love story takes us to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Gerald and Nicole will be getting married as part of the Rose Bowl Parade on the Love Float. The Love Float was a contest for lucky couples to vie for the chance to be married during the parade. Hundreds entered and it was narrowed down to 4 couples. The public voted and Gerald and Nicole will be happy Rose Bowl couple.

5. Police Officer gives ticketed driver $100 – Hayden Carlo was pulled over one day in Plano, Texas a few weeks ago. Carlo’s plates had expired. When asked why he hadn’t renewed them Hayden Carlo explained to the officer that he was struggling, behind on bills, and just hadn’t been able to pay for the renewal. The officer returned with a ticket, but inside the ticket was $100 bill.

6. Christian Brown – Christian is the man we noted in the Delta Airlines story about rude treatment to a double amputee during a flight. Christian is that amputee. He lost his legs serving our country. While we’re sure Christian just assume forget about the painful experience with Delta and seeks no fame, we felt it right that he be featured in our Golden George Awards for 2012.

7. Newtown, Connecticut – We can’t leave out mention of the tragedy in Connecticut. While it was explained in the Potter Awards that we’d be careful not to trivialize this sad event, be respectful of the families, and make no mention of the murderer, it’s only right to recognize the community itself. While we’ve read the tragic news, there no doubt has been great outpouring of support among neighbors and friends in that area during this time. We too are with you Newton. You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

8. Samantha Pawlucy – Samantha Pawlucy was ordered by a teacher earlier this year to remove her Romney t-shirt and the teacher further insulted Pawlucy by suggesting it was akin to supporting the KKK. The 16 year old will get in a last laugh though. She is suing the school district. While Christmas, and the spirit of these awards is for good deeds, charity, faith, heroics, selfless acts, and American Exceptionalism, in this case we say….go get em girl.

9. Jon McNaughton – McNaughton could be considered a celebrity. But I thought he should be in this part of the list. You may or may not know him, but you are likely familiar with his artwork. His works include dramatic landscape scenes, masterful paintings about faith, and some great historical and political pieces as well. Jon was on the show as part of the Gifts For Patriots episodes. A portion of the proceeds from his Runaway Slave painting featuring C.L. Bryant goes to the C.L. Bryant Foundation.

10. Jeff Woody – Jeff Woody is a running back for the Iowa State Cyclones. If you follow college football you might know Jeff Woody from scoring the last touchdown in Iowa State’s dramatic upset of Oklahoma State in 2011. Woody took the time to recognize a girl, Kelsey, who lost her battle with a brain tumor. Woody wrote a nice letter to the Des Moines Register about Kelsey and her family.

11. Hurricane Sandy Communities – Just like Newton, Connecticut the communities effected by Hurricane Sandy have come together to help each other in time of need. We have heard the sad stories, but also good ones of neighborly love and good citizenship and charity in the aftermath of the violent storm. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

12. Winthrop Coach – Pat Kelsey is the Mens Head Basketball Coach at Winthrop University. After a recent game Kelsey took the time during the postgame interview to put life into perspective but minimalizing the game and sharing his thoughts about Newtown, Connecticut, mostly what he felt as a father. His speech put things into perspective and offered common sense view in the wake of the tragedy.

13. Lee Cameron’s Christmas Stocking – Lee Cameron is a fellow podcaster. Every year he does a Christmas series of shows. His shows are shorter, and more focused on one specific topic. But I’d say they are higher quality in production and very enjoyable. I want to thank Lee for doing his program every year, and for providing me with some ideas and information. I look forward to the Christmas Stocking shows every year. It’s quickly becoming part of my yearly Christmas tradition.

14. Pam Smith, Hanson Directory, Newton, Iowa – Pam does her best to make things fun for all employees. She always comes up with new ideas, clever contests or games, & things to inspire or encourage. She does all this and at the same time, cares about community, health, charity, the environment, personal faith, social issues, etc, & thinks up ways to incorporate these issues into special activities that we do at Hanson.

Here are just a few of the things that Pam has initiated at Hanson over the past several years, not just for fun, but for the betterment of the local society as a whole:

Organized bell ringing for the Salvation Army with employees being paid an hour’s wages for an hour’s worth of bell ringing
Organized Toys for Tots giving
Organized Angel Tree Ministries
Organized Adopt a Family volunteers
Organized company donations for fellow employee whose home burned down
Coordinated Thanks with Franks, an annual Newton business customer appreciation day
Coordinated company Christmas caroling
Coordinated annual employee flu shots

15. Bratleboro Christmas Stocking – One of the charity causes I featured in Restoring Joy series was the Bratleboro Christmas Stocking. The town of Bratleboro, Vermont has a wonderful tradition, now going on for 76 years! Every year the town newspaper, “The Reformer” organizes a fundraiser for some cause in the community. This year it was to raise $90,000 for winter clothing to children age 15 years and younger. What an amazing effort and thing for a small town to do!

16. Jamin – A distant cousin of mine in Iowa. I learned the other day during Winter Storm Draco, that he came across a stuck car on the road. One of the people in the car was disabled. It took him two hours, but he finally got the car free.


1. Jeff Spiehs – InCommon InCommon is a great community development project taking place in Omaha. InCommon fits needs with skills. It seeks hand-up solutions over hand-out solutions. For these reasons we make Jeff Speihs and InCommon our #1 organization of the year in the Golden George Awards. My good friend Jeff Spiehs has been part of numerous causes over the year and I think he’s really found something great with this program. Check out their web site at the link above, and also catch the interview I did with Jeff as part of Restoring Joy at the link below.

2. Candace Gregory – Open Door Mission We continue in the Omaha area with #2. The Open Door Mission has been doing great things in the Omaha area for decades. The Open Door Mission provides food and shelter for those in need. It also has a variety of other programs such as helping our Veterans. The longtime face and voice of Open Door Mission is Candance Gregory. It was great to catch up with Candace and learn about all of the great things happening at the Open Door Mission. Listen to that interview below.

3. Sugartree Ministries – This Wilmington, Ohio ministry was in the headlines a year or two ago around Christmas as Glenn Beck made it part of his “America’s First Christmas” show. The community was struggling due to the national economy and compounded by a number of local business closures. But the people of Wilmington gave the nation an example to follow. They stuck together. They met each others needs as best as they could. Thanks in large part due to Sugartree Ministries. Sugartree features a food bank, shelter, a coffee shop for entertainment, church services, and some dedicated volunteers. I wanted to make Sugartree part of the awards and the show this year because I hadn’t forgotten them. I wanted to ensure that the rest of the country hadn’t either after the lights and cameras had left town. Be sure to visit their site and consider making a donation.

4. K9 Comfort Dogs – K9 Comfort Dogs is a group from Lutheran Church Charities out of Chicago. Their mission is to use trained dogs as a source of comfort and therapy for those going through traumatic experiences. The group drove 800 miles to Connecticut to help out the people of Newtown.

5. Wreaths Across America – Is a great organization honoring our Veterans. Each year they organize a motorcycle ride from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath laying ceremony. The organization also does local outreach and education programs with scouting programs, community organizations, and civic groups.

6. Mercury One/Glenn Beck’s Restoring Love Event – I had the fortune to attend Glenn Beck’s massive charity event in Dallas back in July. It was simply amazing. A number of charities were helped out in part by Mercury One. In truth it would be easy to list this event at the top of the list. But this year I really wanted to focus on small things, individuals, and random acts of charity. After all part of the Mercury One mission is to encourage charity at home. So by placing them 6th on the list isn’t to dismiss the mission and effectiveness of Mercury One. As you know I profiled Mercury One as part of our Restoring Joy series this year. The people in Dallas were amazing. The organizers were amazing. The outside work that Mercury One continues to do is amazing – preserving our history, reforming education, encouraging entrepreneurship, emergency preparedness, community involvement, care for the poor and hungry, helping faith organizations and defending the Israeli people, and helping to put good back into our culture. I am a proud Mercury One member and it remains my favorite charity. The event in Dallas was great and I wish everyone could have experience what I did. Seeing people active in various community projects, donating money to causes, and food to 18 trucks that went across the nation to replenish food banks was good to be a part of. I encourage you to visit Mercury and become a member or make a small donation.

7. 12/12//12 Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert – A major relief benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy was put on last week in New York City. Millions were raised to aid in the relief effort. A big salute to all those involved including the performers.

8. Salvation Army – Any Christmas list featuring good organizations and people is not complete without the Salvation Army. Every year the bell ringers and the red kettles continue the tradition of seeking small (and large) donations from shoppers. The money raised goes to Christmas dinners and shelter for the poor, as well as other programs the Salvation Army offers.

9. Jason Wright – Is author of a book “Christmas Jars”. I have mentioned the book numerous times and Jason has been in our Golden George Awards before. This year we featured Jason and Christmas Jars again as part of the Restoring Joy series. If you’ve never made a Christmas Jar…start one right now for next year! It’s a great family activity that brings the joy of Christmas into your home year around. You can find out more at Jason’s site which includes a link to real Christmas Jars stories; and check the second link to listen to the episode we devoted to Christmas Jars on the show.

10. Food Insurance – Food Insurance offers an interesting alternative gift. Emergency preparedness is an important thing to consider in your home. It always helps to have a little something on hand or saved up, so when a disaster or tough time strikes, there’s something to fall back on. We featured Food Insurance in our Gifts For Patriots Shows in 2012.

11. Toys For Tots – Is an excellent well known program we think about this time every year. Their partnership with the United States Marine Corps has allowed millions of children to enjoy receiving a toy on Christmas Day. What I find interesting about Toys For Tots is how it was started – all the way back in the 1940′s when a Marine wife made a doll and asked her husband to donate it to a charity to give to a needy child for Christmas. As it turned out there wasn’t one. So the couple came up with the program Toys For Tots, which has been a huge success ever since. It’s a case of someone seeing a need and stepping up to make it happen. This Christmas Santa Claus may very well be dressed as a Marine for a child in need. Thank you Toys For Tots and are Marines for making Christmas better for children out there all over the country.

12. Lemonade Day – Lemonade Day is a fairly young organization started to teach children responsibility and entrepreneurship. We put Lemonade Day in our showcase of charities for Restoring Joy. While it’s not an organization you’d likely think of this time of the year I believe their mission is a good one, and one that we should encourage and support year around. We need to teach children these principles. While Christmas we do a lot of giving…and receiving of gifts, it’s always a good time to learn and teach the value of hard work and perseverance. Lemonade Day offers several programs and ways to be involved. Learn more at

13. Koch Brothers – The Koch Brothers are demonized terribly and unjustly. They are great philanthropists though. They donate millions to various causes such as cancer research, and different programs in arts and humanities. Their business ventures continue to have some of the best treated and happiest employees. These men are not evil. They are successful and they are good. It’s as simple as that. Anyone who says different, simply does not know what they are talking about.

14. Edward Wunder – He’s a funny man. He’s witty. He’s entertaining. He’s a hypnotist. He’s Edward Wunder and I’m proud to call him a friend. Edward offers chair visits for serious issues. But he’s known for his stage shows as well. They are family friendly and a lot of laughs. Edward has a good heart…and mind, of course. He was part of our Gifts For Patriots showcase this year. A hypnotist you ask? Well, why not consider Edward for an upcoming party in 2013? Everyone will enjoy it, I promise! Now what puts him on the list is that Edward while on the show announced his intentions to form a service around his stage shows that would go towards supporting our Veterans. What a great idea! We can’t wait to be a small part in Edward’s efforts in helping our Armed Forces with his outreach.–hypnotist-edward-wunder

15. BYU Mistletoe Test – This was a fun and somewhat juvenile experiment done by some students at BYU. A male student asked unsuspecting women as part of a faux interview questions about Christmas. One of which was about mistletoe and whether or not they observed the tradition of kissing under it when they were under it. As they answered a mistletoe bundle was lowered from the ceiling to be over the interviewer and interviewee. The reactions are hilarious and fun. While he does get smacked once and turned down a time or two, most of the girls go along with the gag. Here at the Badger Den, we say it’s just harmless Christmastime fun and tradition!

There’s the official Golden George Awards list for 2012! It’s made in part by the listeners of the show and those people who have been on the show, and news stories we’ve covered. Now, I know every year we miss someone, and I apologize. What’s on here is just what I’ve been made aware of or discovered myself. Be sure to be a part of it next year! And in the spirit of Christmas, let’s all be like George Bailey, each and every day of the year!


Past Golden George Awards

24 Dec

This evening I played the 2010 and 2011 Golden George Awards. Tomorrow morning at 8 AM the 2012 Awards will be announced!

This was started in 2010, my annual year end awards show looking for people that do good things for their communities, reflecting the Christmas spirit year around. Some are directly related to Christmas, others are not. It’s always been very random, some are nominated, some I just pick out of news stories throughout the year. The name comes from George Bailey of the holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

This year we add the Potter Awards for everyone that’s the exact opposite. I’ve also broken it up into 3 categories for 2012.
1. Celebrities
2. Citizenship/Individuals or Communities
3. Charities/Businesses

Tomorrow morning at 8 AM the 2012 awards will be announced. Here’s the big clue – 2 Andy’s make the list.

Here’s the past winners.

1. Greta Benson – Badger’s Grandma – Nominated by cousins.
1. Erma Roseland – Badger’s Grandma – I couldn’t leave out one of my Grandmas! Family was a nice way to start off this tradition.
3. Jason Wright – Author of Christmas Jars
4. Haymarket Virginia Christmas Sweater Club – A goofy high school group in Virginia that got in trouble for wearing their Christmas sweaters every day, they were said to be distracting to others.
5. Sugartree Ministries, Wilmington, Ohio – Inspiring story about a small town hit hard by the economy coming together around a local shelter and food bank.
6. United Methodist Church, Louisville, Nebraska – Live Christmas music echoing throughout the neighborhood
7. Guiding Light Baptist Church, Elon, North Carolina – Thieves returned stolen items
8. Jeff Garcia, Omaha Nighthawks – $10,000 donation to Salvation Army in Omaha
9. Santa Claus Hall of Fame, Santa Claus, Indiana – 75th Anniversary
10. New Jersey Turnpike Mystery Decorator – 4th year in a row Christmas decorations have appeared on the turnpike.
11. Phil Jackson, NBA Coach of Lakers – Does not like games played on Christmas Day
12. Hanson Directory Service, Newton, Iowa – Helping others in community

Overall #1. Henderson County, Texas – Was ground zero for the War on Christmas in 2011. Dan Baker’s NFRF fought hard in Texas, but the community of Henderson fought back and won by keeping their Christmas displays up.

Late Additions after first session of recording of the show. I deemed that these 2 late adds were worthy of the #1 spot. These were added the night before the airing causing a change of plans, but all 3 #1′s did make it on the broadcast of the Christmas Day show.

1. Brad Luedtke, Dallas, Texas – Came across an accident, helped direct traffic while dressed as a Santa Claus enroute to deliver Christmas gifts to a charity cause. Brad’s son was lost 7 years ago in a car accident. The man he helped in the accident was the father to a girl who was friends with Brad’s son.
1. David Wilson, Los Angeles – Wilson was a Secret Santa, his identity was revealed, and is now referred to as a “Layaway Angel” after paying off $15,000 bill for all items that were currently on layaway in a Laguna Beach K-Mart.

2. Layaway Secret Santas – Mystery shoppers paying off others layaway bills, mostly at K-Mart stores, but has spread as the receiving parties are paying it forward.
3. Joplin, Missouri – After being struck by a deadly tornado the community was in action helping each other and bringing comfort to those in need. Radio hosts like Rush Limabugh and Glenn Beck provided aid to the area. They also weren’t whining and complaining for help, and certainly not from the government.
4. Eric Bolling – Fox Business Network host, kicked Dan Baker of Freedom From Religion Foundation off the show after Baker insulted Christmas symbols.
5. Kanzius Cancer Research Center – Doing amazing research!
6. Yeager Family, State Center, Iowa – The story of Gordon and Norma dying in a car crash captured national attention when it was learned that the elderly couple died holding each others hands.
7. Dakota Meyer, Leroy Petry – Dakota is a Medal of Honor winner saving 36 lives. Petry also a Medal of Honor winner, saved other service men and in the process was injured.
8. The Old Guard, Arlington, National Cemetery
9. IHOP – International House of Prayer in Kansas City, has been in continual prayer 24/7 since 1999.
10. Faith Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida – Meeting the challenge of the pastor the church brought in million dollars in aid to local causes.
11. Franklin Graham – Son of Billy Graham, does relief work for people in North Korea.
12. Jane Cline – Fighting cancer and trouble paying for her treatment. Started having garage sales to pay for her own treatment – then the city told her she had to stop her sales due to a complaint by a neighbor and not having a permit. However, others stepped in to help.
13. Vicky Thomas – When a transgender woman was being beaten in a fast food restaurant everyone else looked on doing nothing. Vicky Thomas intervened.
14. Kevin Peck, West Valley, Utah – Helped a woman stuck under a commuter bus.
15. Travis Air Force Base, California – Taking a stand against radical atheism by keeping Nativity scene up.
16. Brenda Tharp – Omaha woman helping to replace gifts stolen from her car. Other women overheard her talking about the crime at a restaurant and then helped her replace her stolen items by giving her money. She then returned the favor to help out the Stevens Center in raising funds during the holiday season.
17. Christina Taylor Green – Victim of the attack on Congresswoman Giffords earlier in the year. This young girl had big dreams and her story captured the hearts of the nation.
18. Mount Ayre, North Carolina – Inspiration for Mayberry (Andy Griffith Show) Lost 10,000 jobs over past decade, now citizens being put to work for charity by Glenn Beck (1791 Clothing?)
19. Army Sgt, Joe Tavara, JR Martinez, William Holmes – Building Homes For Heroes – Sgt Tavara received a $450,00 home from charity project that was made completely accessible for him.
20. Chester County, Pennsylvania – Fought back against sham atheist holiday display on public grounds
21. Green County Tech Primary School, Arkansas – Defending Nativity Scene on school grounds
22. Pitman, New Jersey – Citizens coming to defense of Knights of Columbus Christmas banner
23. David Barton – Barton’s challenge of Jon Stewart over War on Christmas and history was a great segment of television.
24. Bill O’Reilly – Segments defending Christmas during month of December.
25. Giles County School Students, Giles County, Virginia – Students fought back over removal of 10 Commandments
26. Henry, CEO of Gibson Guitars – Fighting government regulations
27. Tobacco Brothers – Brothers who work on Wall Street, challenged Occupy Wall Street and even hosted a job fair
28. Heartland of America Band, USAF, Bellevue, Nebraska – Holiday concert
29. United States Army & Brendan Dagle – Brendan battling cancer and wanted to be a soldier, the US Army made it happen with a party complete with a Humvee, honorary induction ceremony, soldiers attending
30. Tim Tebow & Blake Appleton – Blake fighting cancer had a wish to meet Tim Tebow and TT joined Blake at his bedside in the hospital.


Final Sunday In Advent

23 Dec

Today is the last Sunday in Advent for this church year. Tomorrow of course is Christmas Eve! I hope you were able to make it to church today with your family. The message this morning was called “Gift of Grace”.

Tomorrow morning we’ll do another devotion called “Gift of Love” and finally on Christmas morning the “Gift of Jesus”. We have plenty to be thankful for, we are blessed with many gifts, sometimes we just need reminded of which gifts are the most important.


Some Christmas Weekend Entertainment

23 Dec

If you’re looking for some Christmas music to echo through the house this weekend, check out the annual Christmas Music Show we did a few weeks ago. It features stuff from every genre, classics, and some new stuff as well.

If you’d like to do a little learning and self-improvement with a Christmas spin, check out the Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus episode from Friday evening.

And if you’re looking to explore some Christmas traditions and legends, take a listen to the Christmas Lore Show from this morning.

On deck in the coming days:
Sunday – Advent Edition of Morning Prayer
Sunday Evening – Golden George Awards from 2010 and 2011

Monday – Golden George Awards for 2012

Tuesday – Christmas Unwrapped – It’s the highlights from all of this years Christmas shows.