The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge recently presented the first Selma Shapiro Friend of the Child award posthumously to Pat Imperato, a Museum board president and volunteer who gave generously of her time to many community organizations.
Imperato had a passion for community service and faced each day asking, “What can I do today to make this world a better place?” Museum board member Suzan Bowman related in presenting the award to Pat’s husband, Nick Imperato, at the Museum’s annual meeting.
“When she recruited me to be on this board, she told me that this Museum is one of the joys of her life,” Bowman said in presenting the award. “Pat gave so unselfishly of her time and energy to causes she believed in.”
The Shapiro family contributed $1,000 to the Museum in memory of Pat Imperato and in honor of the award.
Ronnie Bogard, also a Museum board member, described the award named for her mother and presented to a Museum supporter who has made a significant difference in the lives of children and families.
Selma Shapiro served as the Museum’s executive director for 31 years before her retirement in 2004. She was “an individual whose name became synonymous with the Children’s Museum due to her passion, devotion, and vision. She believed in the concept of learning through play, and the idea that parents and children could learn together side by side in a Children’s Museum,” Bogard said.
Bogard pointed out five characteristics of her mother that the Museum looked for in bestowing the Friend of the Child award, and found them in Pat Imperato: loyalty, creativity, hardworking, visionary, and advocacy.
Shapiro had a desire that all children be exposed to history, culture, and the arts, especially locally and regionally, and that children learn about them in fun and unique ways, Bogard said.
The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, 461 West Outer Drive, offers children and families the opportunity for learning through play. It is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Museum admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors ages 62 and older, and $6 for children ages 3-18. Admission is free for children under 3 and museum members. For more information, call (865) 482-1074 or see the website at www.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org.
This press release was submitted by Kay Brookshire.