Voices For Children Raises More Than $100,000 At 21st Annual ‘Be A Voice’ Awards Luncheon

Event recognizes community’s most valuable protectors and
raises awareness about children in local foster care

MIAMI – November 3, 2015 – Voices For Children Foundation, a local not-for-profit organization advocating for children in Miami-Dade’s foster care system, and presenting sponsor Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, served as hosts to approximately 400 attorneys, judges, elected officials, community leaders, volunteers and supporters at its 21st annual “Be A Voice” Awards Luncheon held on Friday, October 23, at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami. News anchor Laurie Jennings served as the emcee.

With help from supporters, Voices For Children Foundation raised over $130,000. The money will help ensure abused, abandoned and neglected children in Miami-Dade County each have a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem and that resources are available to support their health, educational and social needs.

At the event, John Lopez, who aged out of foster care and recently graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design from the University of Florida – New World School of the Arts, was honored with the organization’s Path Finder Award.

“Being the oldest of 10 children, and moving from shelter to shelter, I was determined to find some sort of stability while in foster care,” Lopez said. “Thanks to Voices For Children Foundation, the It Takes A Village College Life Scholarship, and my mentors, I overcame adversity and was able to pursue my dream of becoming a graphic designer.”

Abigail Price-Williams, the first woman and the first African-American to serve as Miami-Dade County Attorney, was presented with the Voices For Children Advocate Award for her tireless efforts on behalf of the foundation. For many years, she served as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer and was named the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida Guardian ad Litem Pro Bono Attorney of the Year.

“My heart and soul are with Voices For Children Foundation. I have been a lay and a pro-bono Guardian ad Litem volunteer, and I know first-hand what it does in changing people’s lives,” Price-Williams said.

In addition to Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, which has sponsored the annual awards luncheon for nine consecutive years, the event was made possible by ”Platinum Guardian” sponsor Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno A. Barreiro. “Gold Guardian” sponsors including: Comcast; Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz; Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson; Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan; Miami-Dade County Chairman Jean Monestime; and Wells Fargo Insurance Services. “Silver Guardian” sponsors are: Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman; Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss; Mr. and Mrs. Scott Robins; and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa. Brickell Magazine was the event’s media sponsor. Roar Media was the PR sponsor.

About Voices For Children Foundation

Voices For Children Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that raises funds 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. Guardians ad Litem are trained, court-appointed adults who serve as their representative voices in dependency court proceedings. Currently, over 3,650 children are in Miami-Dade County’s Foster Care system and only 66% of children are unrepresented by Guardians ad Litem.  For more information, please visit www.BeAVoice.org.

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Editor’s Notes: Event photos are available.

Testimonial

Voices For Children is more than just an organization, it's a beacon of hope... Voices is that hand to our future. I'm proof that there is hope.

Ronald L. Smith
Clerk Specialist - Miami-Dade County
Attorney's Office