SHERIDAN — Child Advocacy Services of the Big Horns announced this week it will host its fifth annual Court Appointed Special Advocates Light of Hope Breakfast on April 19.
The event honors those who have worked on behalf of abused and neglected children in Sheridan and Johnson Counties and will take place at 7:30 a.m. at the Best Western Sheridan Center. The Child Development Center will be honored as the recipient of this year’s Champion for Children award.
The award’s history began in 2009 when Jay McGinnis, executive director of the Sheridan YMCA, took home the first prize.
Tom Racette of Sheridan County School District 2 was honored in 2010 while DFS Supervisor Pam Emerson and Judge John Fenn won in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Serving both Sheridan and Johnson Counties, the Child Development Center traces its roots back to the first Sheridan child care program to accept children with disabilities.
That organization was founded by Reta Onstott in 1968.
In the 45 years since, the center has grown to encompass a staff of more than 30 employees that serves almost 200 children each year. Additionally, the organization provides more than 600 free developmental screenings annually.
Susie Cannon, development coordinator at Child Advocacy Services of the Big Horns, said in a press release that the Child Development Center is instrumental in promoting the well-being of area children.
“They improve the lives of all our children and make our work easier,” she said. “We hope everyone who has been touched by their work will come to the Light of Hope breakfast to honor them.”
State Rep. Rosie Berger, R-Big Horn, will serve as the keynote speaker for this year’s event.
The breakfast is free, but donations to Court Appointed Special Advocates are appreciated. For more information or to reserve a seat, call Susie Cannon at Child Advocacy Services of the Big Horns at 675-2272.