Carol Spaulding Fox was among a number of illustrious Virginians – including two former Virginia First Ladies – who gathered in 1994 to create the Action Alliance for Virginia’s Children and Youth, now known as Voices for Virginia’s Children. Carol and her visionary colleagues were motivated by their deep caring for the Commonwealth’s children and by a shared desire to make sure that all children, including those growing up disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable, could succeed. It was their strong belief that the Commonwealth needed an independent, non-partisan organization to provide objective information and principled advocacy to influence Virginia policymakers on behalf of children.
In the years since, Carol served Voices and the children of Virginia with energy, vision and caring. She was a long-serving board member, inspiring the organization and her peers during her tenure as board chair and in other leadership roles. Her steady guidance, and the dignity and grace with which she carried out her work, helped move the organization to a position of public policy and advocacy leadership. Carol’s special devotion to early childhood issues – she had founded a highly-regarded child development center in West Point – and to issues of child poverty and disadvantage were instrumental in guiding Voices to a leadership role in both domains.
She and her husband Carter supported Voices and other causes through their generous philanthropic efforts. A 1989 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, Carol’s community service reached beyond Voices to influence other organizations, always with her concern for disadvantaged children in the forefront. Notable was her service as the board chair of United Way of Greater Richmond and as President of the board of William Byrd Community House. She is the recipient of numerous honors including the YWCA Outstanding Women of the Year Award for Volunteerism; the 1998 “Volunteer of the Year” award from the Central Virginia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals; and an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Washington and Lee University. Her unofficial role as a Voices’ roving ambassador greatly enhanced the visibility and credibility of the organization and inspired others to support the cause.
Carol retired from board service at Voices in 2011, after having played an instrumental leadership role throughout the organization’s first 17 years. In honor of her illustrious service, and in tribute to the extraordinary contributions she made to improve the well-being of Virginia’s children, the Voices Board of Directors in 2012 established the Voices Carol S. Fox Making Kids Count Award. The award is presented annually to a person or organization that exemplifies Carol’s selfless and principled efforts to better the lives of Virginia’s children. In this way, Carol’s legacy continues to lead and inspire others to speak out for children.