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Florida’s Children First – State’s Premier Child Advocacy Organization – Draws 250 Attendees, Raises $100,000 at Event Honoring Broward County Bar Presidents, Advocates and Former Foster Children

March 23rd, 2012   No Comments   Advocacy

Fort Lauderdale, Florida – The 10th annual Florida’s Children First (FCF) Broward Awards reception yesterday raised $100,000 and drew more than 250 child advocates, elected officials, judges and community and business leaders in support of the state’s foster, abused and neglected children.

FCF, the statewide legal advocacy organization focused on protecting the legal rights of at-risk and foster care children, recognized supporters and groups committed to helping Florida’s most vulnerable children. The event was held on March 22 in Fort Lauderdale.

The event recognized this year’s Broward Child Advocate honorees. They included Broward County Bar Association Past-President Bruce Weihe; Broward County Bar Association President Jordana Goldstein; and Tracey McPharlin Pro Bono Dependency Recruitment Project Director David Bazerman.

“Florida’s Children First Broward Awards honor those who give of their time and expertise in helping children across the county. But it’s so much more than that,” said Howard Talenfeld, FCF President and Fort Lauderdale children’s rights attorney, who hosted the event with FCF Executive Director Christina Spudeas. “Each year, the event showcases the change that advocates who are committed to a cause can bring on behalf of those whose voices cannot be heard. Tracey would be proud of the legacy of advocacy that lives on in her honor.”

Honorees were selected for their work with the McPharlin project, named for the long-time child advocate attorney who passed away in 2010. The project is a collaborative effort of the Broward County Bar Association, Legal Aid Service of Broward County Inc., The 17th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, and Florida’s Children First. The project’s goal is to recruit, train and support pro bono attorneys who represent children in Dependency Court. To date, more than 80 attorneys have been trained and now volunteer to take cases on behalf of children.

Also recognized at the event were this year’s Youth Advocate honorees Stephen Satchell and Tamarra Lestage. Both are former foster children and today are college students and members of the Broward Chapter of Florida Youth SHINE (FYS), a youth advocacy organization for children in and aging out of Florida’s foster care system.

Event sponsors included Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate; Eckerd Family Foundation; Patriot National Insurance Group; Broward County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section; Wells Fargo; Lifestyle Publications; Daily Business Review; Boardroom Communications; G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc., and Guardian Trust; among others.

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