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Florida’s Children First to Honor Broward’s Top Advocates for Children on March 7

Florida’s Children First (FCF), an award-winning non-profit organization that has been the voice of at–risk children and youth in Florida, will recognize truly remarkable child advocates and former foster youth at FCF’s 21st annual Broward County Advocates for Children Awards, held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on March 7.

This is one of the largest events FCF hosts each year, recognizing the accomplishments of community leaders in Broward who support its mission of making positive changes in the lives of children. Joe Johnson, NPR and Beatles Brunch radio host, will return as the event’s emcee with an expected attendance of 300 supporters including community leaders, former honorees, and individuals who are committed to helping Florida’s children.

“We are very excited to be recognizing three amazing champions for children this year,” said FCF Executive Director Geori Berman Seldine. “This year’s honorees are not just dedicated advocates for children, they are each passionate, visionary leaders committed to improving the child welfare system in their own, unique way. We are thrilled to recognize them for their many achievements, and for their everyday acts of extraordinary compassion, commitment, and advocacy.”

FCF is delighted to present the 2023 Outstanding Non-Profit Champion for Children Award to H.O.M.E.S Inc. The organization has been providing quality community and economic development for at-risk/low-income Broward County residents since its inception in 1999. Under the direction of child advocate Linda Taylor, H.O.M.E.S Inc. has launched several programs to support youth in need, including offering affordable housing options for youth transitioning out of foster care to independent living. The goal is simple: to stabilize the lives of these youth, motivate them, and help them move forward to financial and emotional self-sufficiency.

Additionally, FCF is proud to honor Robert Lamarche as the 2023 Outstanding Foster & Adoptive Parent. A licensed clinical social worker and adoption attorney, Lamarche has been in the social work and adoption field since 1996. He is currently the Executive Director/Attorney for ACF Adoptions, a private non-profit adoption agency that facilitates adoptions for children with many medically complex conditions or special needs youth. A trailblazing child advocate in his private life, as well, Lamarche is the proud parent of two sons and a daughter he adopted out of foster care plus a “bonus son” who aged out of the foster care system but is now an integral part of the family.

Finally, FCF is thrilled to celebrate Joshua Mincey with the 2023 Outstanding Youth Advocate Award. Mincey is a passionate and driven young man with a love of learning who has set his sights on being the next public health leader. He is currently working toward his Master’s Degree at the University of South Florida as well as a rising young leader and active advocate in Florida Youth SHINE. While his early years were filled with hardship, pain, poverty, and time in the foster care system, he persevered. His thirst for learning, and the encouraging mentors he had along the way, helped Mincey channel his positive energies into pursuing his education and helping his peers in care.

“Each of these honorees has truly made an impact on our community and on the lives of our state’s youth,” said Howard Talenfeld, FCF President and Business Unit Leader of the Justice for Kids Division of Kelley Kronenberg. “I hope you will join us in celebrating their accomplishments and learn more about our mission to help at-risk youth in Florida.”

This event and the work of FCF would not be possible without the support of the organization’s incredible sponsors, including Statewide Presenting Sponsor: Kelley Kronenberg; Statewide sponsors: The Florida Bar Foundation, Guardian Trust, Stuart Building Products, The Shane McGee Foundation, and The Paul Palank Memorial Foundation; as well as Event Sponsor the Falcone Group, and the Luminary and Hero level Sponsors: Coffey McPharlin, Nova Southeastern University, and UKG.

For more information about FCF or to register for the Broward County Advocates for Children Awards, visit www.floridaschildrenfirst.org.

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