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Foster Child Attorneys, At-Risk Advocates at Florida’s Children First Raise Record-Breaking $130,000; Largest Amount Raised at a Single Event in FCF’s 11-Year History

March 2nd, 2013   No Comments   Advocacy

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Through the generosity of its local supporters, Florida’s Children First (FCF), the statewide advocacy organization focused on protecting the legal rights of at-risk and foster care children, broke its own fundraising records by raising more than $130,000 at its February 28 Broward awards reception in Fort Lauderdale. This money will be used toward the many programs and services the organization offers to vulnerable children around the state.

More than 250 Broward County child advocates, elected officials, judges and community and business leaders were in attendance. FCF Executive Director Christina Spudeas, along with FCF President and Fort Lauderdale children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld, led the event, with WPLG Local 10 Anchor Kristi Krueger serving as mistress of ceremonies.

Children’ issues reporter Carol Marbin Miller received the “Media Advocate of the Year” award. Carol has been a dedicated reporter for the Miami Herald for more than 12 years, working to expose neglect and failures within Florida’s social services. She has uncovered numerous abuses of power whose victims were among the state’s most vulnerable – our children.

Receiving the 2013 “Child Advocate of the Year” award was Kirk Brown, Vice President of Programs and Business Development at HANDY, Inc. (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth). Kirk is regarded as one of the most selfless individuals who personally knows and understands the struggles faced by those at-risk. He makes it his personal mission to help them succeed.

This year’s annual “Tracey McPharlin Award Honoree” was Anne Alper. Anne has been a dedicated children’s advocate for years and has devoted her legal career toward helping children. She is now practicing with the law firm Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb in Fort Lauderdale. She continues her pro bono work, participates as a Guardian Ad Litem, and serves as a director on FCF’s advisory board.

Former foster child Kaydrin Herbert received a special “Youth Inspiration Award.” Kaydrin and his mother Georgina were honored at the 2010 Broward Reception as the foster and adoptive family of the year. FCF has chosen to honor them again because he has inspired all of us to fight for the rights of medically fragile children.

Among this year’s “Youth Advocate Award” recipients were Brandon Burke and Breon Callins.

Brandon was in foster care two different times, but persevered and aged out last summer. He is now finishing his senior year at Cardinal Gibbons on scholarship, continues advocating with Florida Youth SHINE and will be attending college in the fall.

Breon entered care at four years old with his four brothers, whom were all separated while in care. After some time, Breon and his brothers were able to return home to his mother’s care. He is now a member of Florida Youth SHINE and studying accounting at Broward College.

Florida’s Children First thanks its sponsors Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb, Palank Memorial Foundation; Grossman Roth; Boardroom Communications; Guardian Trust; Lifestyle Publications; the Daily Business Review; and the Broward County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, among others.

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