The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s® mission is to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; help find missing children; and assist victims, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

The National Center’s Annual Hope Awards is an exclusive, black-tie awards ceremony and celebration honoring individuals and corporations that have demonstrated exceptional efforts in the recovery of missing children and the protection of all children from victimization. The Center relies heavily on its corporate and private partnerships to advance its mission and uses this annual ceremony to communicate the innovative and model programs, services, and legislation that benefit missing and exploited children. NCMEC’s Communications department is responsible for the planning and oversight of the event. Since 2004, NCMEC has contracted Wheelhouse Group to support the event flow, scripting and show production aspects of the annual Hope Awards.


Well in advance of the annual Hope Award ceremony, Wheelhouse Group facilitates a series of planning meetings to ensure a well-run successful event. The initial tasks involve determining the overall event flow from start to finish. As NCMEC determines the annual award winners, interviews and other research are conducted to understand the recipient’s background and focus on children. This information is used in the presenter scripting to communicate the recipient’s connection to the National Center and its mission. In addition, Wheelhouse Group works closely with the event’s producer on all aspects of stage design, lighting, audio / visual setup, background music and on-site rehearsals.

Key Outcome/Key Data

Wheelhouse Group produced five highly successful, well-received events that have helped to establish or continue important partnerships, raise critical funds and increase awareness of the National Center’s mission.

Key Takeaway