2014 “Be A Voice” Awards Luncheon

Benefiting Voices For Children Foundation

Laurie Jennings, Emcee of Voices For Children’s Be A Voice Awards Luncheon - Anchor of Local 10 News

Voices For Children Foundation, a Miami not-for-profit organization advocating for children in foster care, and presenting sponsor Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson P.A., served as hosts to approximately 350 South Floridians at the annual “Be A Voice” Awards Luncheon on Friday, Nov. 7. The event also served as the official launch of the not-for-profit organization’s 30th anniversary year. Emceed by local media personality Laurie Jennings and attended by attorneys, judges, elected officials, community leaders, volunteers and supporters, the luncheon took place at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, Fla. 33125. At the event, Voices For Children Foundation presented awards to individuals who have made significant contributions in the area of child abuse and neglect in Miami-Dade County.

Voices For Children Foundation works to help ensure that abused, abandoned and neglected children in Miami-Dade County each have a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem and that financial assistance and other resources are available for their health, educational and social needs. Through this year’s Be A Voice Awards Luncheon, the organization raised approximately $150,000 to support its goals.

Nelson F. Hincapie (President and CEO of Voices For Children Foundation), Johan Askowitz (Guardian ad Litem volunteer and recipient of the Betsy Gunn Award), and Victor (foster youth and recipient of the 2014 Path Finder Award)

“Each day, Guardian ad Litem volunteers help shape the future and create hope for the foster children of South Florida, and this Awards Luncheon is our yearly opportunity to recognize them,” said Nelson F. Hincapie, president and chief executive officer of Voices For Children Foundation. “As we embark upon our thirtieth year serving the community, we thank all those who make what we do possible in advocating for children who need someone to be their voice.”

This year, Voices for Children Foundation presented the inaugural Betsy Gunn Award to volunteer Johan Askowitz, who was one of the longest-serving members of the organization’s board of directors and who has served as a Guardian ad Litem for more than 110 children in Miami-Dade County’s foster system since 1988.

At the Luncheon, one beneficiary of Voices For Children Foundation’s work spoke of his experiences in the foster care system and the positive impact of his Guardians ad Litem and Voices For Children Foundation. “For the first time in my life, I had someone I could trust,” said Victor, now age 27. “I am the product of what happens when someone cares.” Victor was the proud recipient of the first ever Path Finder Award for overcoming adversity and moving forward with the strong belief that he can have the life he wants despite past circumstances.

The luncheon was made possible by key supporters including presenting sponsor Stearns Weaver Miller Weisller Alhadeff & Sitterson P.A., which has sponsored the annual Awards Luncheon for eight consecutive years. Media sponsors include Brickell Magazine and Key Biscayne Magazine. Other key sponsors include Miami-Dade County Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman, Comcast and Wells Fargo Insurance.

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