SHERIDAN — A packed house was on hand at the Best Western Sheridan Center early this morning to see representatives from the Child Development Center Region II receive the 2013 Champion for Children Award at the Court Appointed Special Advocate Light of Hope Breakfast.
“It’s wonderful to have recognition for all our staff provides for our communities,” said CDC Chairman Roger Sanders. “Our future is very positive.”
Sanders said that while his organization was
thrilled to receive the honor, caring for local at-risk children is a task that requires the time and skills of many people from across northeastern Wyoming.
“It’s been said it takes a village, but we know it takes far more,” he said.
An organization that operates in both Sheridan and Johnson Counties, the CDC’s staff of 30 full- and part-time employees served about 200 children in 2012. The group also provided developmental screenings to an additional 600 kids.
“It’s just a great honor to be recognized by CASA, (a group that) does so much good for so many children,” said CDC Executive Director Sandi O’Dell.
In addition to the award, speakers from the political and social service realms praised both the CDC and the area’s team of Court Appointed Special Advocates for their involvement in the community.
Keynote speaker Rep. Rosie Berger, R-Big Horn, said both groups provide an invaluable service to the residents of Sheridan and Johnson Counties.
Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey also addressed the audience to share the story of his brother who, after being diagnosed with dyslexia as a child, was the beneficiary of community-based social service workers who helped him flourish developmentally and grow up to become a doctor.
“That’s what the CDC is all about,” he said. “They are so committed to this mission of love.”
The Sheridan Johnson Community Foundation also joined in, donating $10,000 to CASA.
“It just provides a wonderful service to the children of our communities,” said foundation chairman Dennis Kirven.
Entertainment in the form of comedy and song was provided by the Easter Seals Players.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, longtime CDC employees said they were honored to have been recognized.
“This award acknowledges not only the CDC staff and board, but also the many many families who have welcomed us into their lives,” said 35-year employee Jo Lynn Andrews.
The host of the morning’s events, Child Advocacy Services of the Big Horns, is a private, nonprofit organization that provides court advocacy and parent visitation services for area children.