As 2019 closes it’s a great time to reflect on the year and how many people in our community are doing outstanding work to improve the lives of others – selflessly, tirelessly and with aplomb. Last month we recognized such titans who are surpassing expectations to make families and communities better. CHAMPIONS IN OUR MIDST was our inaugural awards luncheon and fundraiser.
We recognized community CHAMPIONS whose work is extraordinary: Richie Butler, Pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church received the highest honor, THE PALADIN AWARD, for founding Project Unity. Following the July 7, 2016 deaths of 5 police officers and the wounding of 9 others, (including 2 civilians) Pastor Butler was given the vision for the “Year of Unity” as a way of bringing the community together. He was inspired to launch an initiative to address the divides in our community and our country.
Other honorees are Dr. Daniel Guzman, Trauma Surgeon at Cook Children’s Medical Center. He received the WARRIOR AWARD for creating an educational program for parents to reduce Child Fire-Arm Related Deaths. The Honorable Judge Lela D. Mays was the recipient of the GUARDIAN AWARD for her work in the restorative justice arena and giving defendants seconds chances. Two CHAMPIONS were awarded the HERO AWARD; Effie Dennison, Executive Vice President, Texas Capital Bank for eradicating hunger, providing and supporting literacy programs and helping communities prosper and Jorge Baldor, Founder, After8toEducate, for supporting high school students to overcome the obstacles of homelessness. And finally, Dr. Field Harrison and his wife Sabrina of MINT Dentistry was awarded THE GLADIATOR FAMILY AWARD for providing opportunities for families who cannot provide for themselves.
At Anthem Strong Families we fortify families and assist men, women and teens to be Champions for their lives. The honored CHAMPIONS understand that in order to have vibrant, healthy communities we absolutely MUST have strong families. It was such an honor to sound the trumpet about the important work of these men and women.
ASF has also had an extraordinary year of accomplishments and one of the most important was reached in our TYRO CHAMPION Program. We celebrated everyday CHAMPIONS who decided to take their lives back; dads reestablished relationships with their wives and children. Our goal was to enroll 330 men and more than 468 completed our rigorous curriculum. We reached 141.8% of our annual goal.
These men and women said YES to doing the hard work, YES to integrity and YES to dedication and commitment. We’re ending the year well and hope that you are too. And, as the year closes, we hope you too are celebrating the CHAMPIONS in your lives and the CHAMPION in you.