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The Origin of the Pew Pal Doll

In 1989, a then 34 year-old Ronald Burnett was painting a house when the idea for a doll that would encourage children to pray and attend church suddenly sprung into his mind.

He climbed down the ladder put up his tools and drove to his mother’s house to enlist her help with his vision. Mildred Burnett an accomplished seamstress agreed that he had a great idea. With the help of his two artistic sisters Eula Parks and Regina Burnett the Pew Pal doll was born.

Initial reaction to the Pew Pal was tremendous. But after many attempts at starting a business from scratch and just as many failures Ron realized that he did not have the proper knowledge or the proper contacts to get the Pew Pal to market. Knowing that it could and should be done he made a vow never to give up.

In the mean time life went on. In 2005 at age 50 Ron became the father of Lindzee Elise Burnett his first and only child. Five months later he found himself a single parent.

Five years later in the spring of 2005 Ron and Lindzee were walking through the Phoebus section of Hampton Virginia when Lindzee turned to her dad and said "Let's go in here" referring to the office of ndh Small Business Consulting. That one pivotal event inspired by a five year-old child led to a friendship and collaboration between Ron and Neil Hesketh that launched Dreams of Hope LLC. With Ron handling the inspiration, Neil taking care of the business end, and the help of many others, the Pew Pals dream has become a reality.

Ron would like to thank his mother Mildred, without whom there would be no Pew Pal doll, and sisters Eula and Regina. He would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Bambi Favre Walters for her legal work protecting the Pew Pals trademark and Richard Gibson of Regal International for sourcing a manufacturing partner and guiding the fledgling company through the process of importing.

Ron would especially like to thank his long-time friends and supporters Phillip Paul and Nancy Yarborough for their help support and hard work towards making his dream come true; Angie and Faye Dillman for their work on a Pew Pal prototype and their continued creative efforts towards developing future products; and Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Avery for providing initial funding for company start-up and the first production run. Great thanks also to Jane Dillon for the wonderful illustrations for this book and the Pew Pals heart logo.

Ron would like to encourage you to contribute to the Ronald McDonald charities. Dreams of Hope LLC is committed to supporting Ronald McDonald House and other charities that help children like Emma Kate and their parents.