2013 Children’s Hero Awards Gala
Benefiting Family Resource Center
 
Alyn Cruz-Higgins and Robert Fernández, Family Resource Center's Board Chair


Lavonne Smith, Family Resource Center Life Skills Specialist, and her husband Jason Smith

Family Resource Center of South Florida, Inc., a leading child welfare agency in Miami, raised over $73,000 at its 5th Annual Children’s Hero Awards. The event was held at the Miami Conrad Hotel and honored three community leaders who have made a difference in the lives of foster children across the state of Florida. Harve A. Mogul, President & CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade, received the Children’s Hero Award for his leadership in advancing programs that make children and families in crisis stronger, safer and more stable. In recognition of his sentinel contribution to the child welfare system in the State of Florida, Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, was honored with the Children’s Advocate Award.

And Katherine W. Ezell, a Partner at the law firm of Podhurst Orseck, P.A., was the recipient of this year’s Children’s Volunteer Award for her extraordinary volunteer efforts as a Guardian ad Litem, a pro-bono child attorney through Lawyers for Children America, and leader of Foster Care Review.

The Gala was emceed by ABC’s Local 10 Sports Director, Will Manso. More than 200 people attended the gala and were entertained by Sherry Truhlar, Auctioneer of Red Apple Auctions who helped facilitate FRC’s first Live Auction that had people donating, laughing and enjoying the night!

One of the highlights of the night was hearing from Lavonne Smith, a Life Skills Specialist at Family Resource Center and also a former foster child. Lavonne spoke about her experiences being a foster child but even more impressive was when she spoke about her work today as a foster teen mentor and an active participant in several focus groups that work on improving the system of care. She spoke about being compassionate and advocating to help teens grow and lead so that they become successful leaders and contribute to their communities just as she has.

More than 75 businesses and organizations contributed to the Trips, Travel and Leisure Silent & Live Auction, which featured great getaway packages, local deals, sports memorabilia, jewelry by Flauxy, live concert tickets, VIP tours and travel—there was something for everyone to enjoy! The event raised funds to support Family Resource Center’s programs and services for children in the foster care system.

The Children’s Hero Award Gala not only recognizes essential leaders who contribute to strengthening the foster care system, but also the overall importance of a community that helps promote the safety and well-being of children and families in South Florida.





Christine Redmond & Alexander Freund

Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, and Children's Advocate Honoree

County Court Judge Jason Dimitris and his wife


Flower Arrangements donated by florist CH Creations

Drs. Teri and Oren Wunderman, Will & Ellie Manso


Auctioneer Sherry Truhlar

David Wahlstad and Katherine W. Ezell, Children's Volunteer Honoree

Lavonne Smith, former foster youth, speaking about her incredible journey and work


The Live Auction a was a huge success!

County Court Judge Jason Dimitris and his wife enjoying the Silent Auction


Emcee, Will Manso, ABC’s Local 10 Sports Director

Lucy de la Vega and Aleida Jacobo, Esq.


Flower Arrangements donated by florist CH Creations

Family Resource Center Staff


Guests enjoying the Cocktail Hour