Still More 11-Year-Old Inductees
Frank Epperson, Kelly Davis, William Dunckelman, and Rachel Chandler

Frank Epperson
San Francisco, California

Frank Epperson invented the popsicle in 1905. Legend says that it resulted as an accident, but notes from his unpublished memoir state otherwise.

The young inventor enjoyed experimenting and creating new exotic drinks by combining soda powder and a variety of flavors that he purchased at the local grocery store. One evening, after filling a glass with such a combination he wrote, "I wonder how it would taste frozen, so I left a little in a glass overnight on the back porch." That night, San Francisco experienced the "Big Freeze". Temperatures dropped below the freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In the morning, Frank found his mixture frozen with the wooden stirring stick protruding straight up like a handle. He slid the "pretty pink frozen lollypop" out of the glass and called it an Epperson Icicle. Later he renamed it the Ep-sicle.

None of Frank's inventions became popular nor provided him with much money. He wanted to produce and sell large quantities of Ep-sicles but didn't have the money to do it. Two other factors were working against him; freezing temperatures were not common in San Francisco, and the home electric freezer hadn't yet been invented.

Frank never gave up his idea. By the time he was married and a father of five, he was in serious debt. His wife, Mary, provided encouragement and help, but it wasn't enough. Frank tried convincing others to invest in his new products but was unsuccessful. One ice-cream maker rejected his request saying it's "not in our line." Others said that his invention would "never be a commercial success." Frank wrote, "I realized if I was ever going to do anything, I would have to do it myself...So I decided the simplest and cheapest thing to develop would be the frozen lollypop."

Getting necessary supplies was difficult. Fortunately, one individual told him about a six-inch glass test tube that proved to be the perfect mold. Frank then invented a machine to manufacture the frozen treat and also stamp his name on the wooden stick. Later, George, Frank's son, renamed the treat - Popsicle, in honor and with permission of his dad.

In 1923, Frank applied for a patent that was granted a year later. He never trademarked his product, but another company did. Frank sold all his rights to the frozen dessert. He late regretted this, but at the time it helped his family survive.

Illustration by Elgin Bolling

Kelly Davis founded Maine Vest-A-Dog (MeVAD), a non-profit organization that provides bulletproof vests for police dogs in Maine. The inspiration came from her parents who encouraged her to be a community volunteer and from her friend, Lisa, who founded Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog.

To raise $700 needed to purchase each vest, Kelly made holiday craft items and designed a Web site. Local newspapers and television programs covered her story. After the first vest was presented to K-9 Apache, media coverage increased and donations poured in. A month later, three more vests were purchased. They were presented at a ceremony in Governor King's Office at the State House.

Kelly became a MeVAD spokesperson and educated hundreds of Maine residents about the vital work done by law enforcement dogs. She explained that the needed vests are made of the same materials and vests for human officers, and protect against a knife, kick, punch, or being hit with a hard object. The vest can make the difference between a bad bruise and a broken rib or a punctured lung.

Kelly's work was featured in Explore! magazine and on the cover of Maine's largest power company's Consumer Guide sent to 500,000 households.

In 2001, after 18 dogs received vest, Maine's Attorney General Steven Rowe informed the Davis family that, although he greatly admired Kelly's commitment to perform community service, Maine had a law prohibiting the asking of funds to benefit law enforcement agencies. In other words, Kelly's program was against the law and had to stop.

Kelly didn't want to stop, because more than 30 dogs were in need of vests, but she did stop and also sent back donations. Then she worked to change the law.

Kelly Davis' Advice
"Police dogs do not choose their role in life and deserved to be protected, just like their human partner."
Learn more about Kelly
as a 12-Year-Old Nominee
and at her Web site:
Click here to visit:


Kelly Davis
West Bath, Maine


Award Winner
William Dunckelman
Houma, Louisiana

William Dunckelman initiated a nationwide service project to bring fine arts programs to senior citizens.

"In the past few years, I've developed two diseases which are almost always associated with the elderly," he explains. "Because I thought I could understand the pain of aging, I began volunteering at local homes for the elderly."

When William discovered that a local senior facility had no fine arts program, he conducted a year-long research effort that indicated nursing homes throughout the U.S. had the same need. So, William created FAME (Fine Arts Motivating the Elderly). In addition to bringing theatrical and musical programs to nursing homes and senior centers, FAME has collected more than $100,000 worth of materials to establish audio-cassette, video and literary collections for these facilities.

More than 1,700 youth volunteers are involved in FAME throughout William's community and 13 other states. William plans a lifetime commitment as an advocate for the rights of senior citizens.

As a sixth-grade at Oakshire Elementary School and a member of the Terrebonne Parish 4-H Cooperative Extension Service, William was honored by Prudential as one of America's Top Ten Volunteers for 2002.

William Dunckelman's Advice
"We are put on this earth for a purpose, with the responsibility to enhance the quality of life for our fellow man - regardless of age."
Story Courtesy of
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 2002
Illustration by Aron Laikin

Rachel Chandler mailed over 200 letters to famous people around the world asking them, "What is the most important lesson you've learned in life?" The answers she received were compiled and published in a book entitled The Most Important Lessons in Life: Letters to a Young Girl.

In the letters Rachel mailed, she introduced herself, told her age and important lessons her parents had learned. She briefly wrote about how she was doing in school and that she was writing to "great people to get advice" as a way to earn a Girl Scout patch. She invited each person to visit her, if they should ever be in her neighborhood. She also thanked them in advance for their help.

Rachel's parents were very supportive and helped her research mailing addresses at the library, but also tried to keep her grounded in reality. They explained that celebrities frequently don't see all their mail, because it typically gets screened by secretaries who may or may not reply. Rachel was determined to keep a positive attitude and not be too disappointed if she didn't receive a single answer.

"In a couple of months, when all the replies started coming in, I was surprised," she said. "I thought people would write back, but not this many! And they weren't just letters that their secretaries wrote. These were written by the actual people. One of the first letters I received was from Danielle Steel, the best-selling author. It was two typed pages. Mr. Cooke, owner of the Washington Redskins football team, wrote a five-page letter. Michail Gorbachev wrote a letter in Russian. I keep all their answers in my scrapbook. It's kind of sacred."

After a conversation with a reporter from their hometown newspaper and a visit from one of its photographers, Rachel's story appeared on the front page. This lead to interview spots on CBS This Morning show, NBC Today show, and telephone interviews from people at radio and television stations around the world. Then a publisher contacted Rachel's family wanting to publish her letter collection as a book. Rachel was delighted.

Rachel Chandler's Advice
"Each lesson that you learn helps to make you who you are. Be yourself. Only you can know what life's most important lesson is. Everyone has a different answer. You have to find it on your own."
Illustration by Aron Laikin

(Induction pending parental approval)
Published Author
Rachel Chandler
Roanoke, Virginia

The Kids Hall of Fame
Executive Offices
Three Ibsen Court
Dix Hills, NY 11746

1 (631) 242-9105 phone

© 2006 The Kids Hall of Fame. All rights reserved.