Champions for Children Awards Ceremony Returns with Special Recognition
Gregory Reed

Champions for Children Awards Ceremony Returns with Special Recognition

Trust’s signature award ceremony set stage for 20th anniversary celebration

The challenges and needs of Miami-Dade County’s children and families never go away. Several recent events, including the pandemic, social unrest and, most recently, global conflicts have reinforced the fact that what happens far and near affects our children. It is for this reason that all children in Miami-Dade need support from their parents, their communities and The Children’s Trust that exists to ensure all children in the county get the opportunity they deserve to grow, develop and thrive.  

The Trust is not alone in its mission. Throughout the county, we have allies and we honor the best of them at The Children’s Trust Champions for Children Award Ceremony every year. Because of the pandemic, The Trust has been unable to congregate with those allies to celebrate these champions in person. On May 24, the Champions for Children Awards Ceremony returned in person to celebrate at the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport and Convention Center with greater purpose than ever before. The event once again brought together child advocates, community leaders and the public to honor those who dedicate their lives to serving children and families. 

President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami Gale Nelson took home the signature David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children Award for Lifetime Achievement and Dedication to Children. Francine Andersen, Chief of Education, Outreach and Access for the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, received the Excellence in Direct Service to Children and Families Award, while State Representative Vance Aloupis was honored with the Excellence in Public Policy Award.  

Overtown Youth Center, Mexican American Council and The Advocacy Network on Disabilities received the Program of the Year awards at the annual event.  

To watch videos of this year’s honorees, click here

At the 16th Champions for Children Award held on the eve of The Trust’s 20th anniversary, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a former Trust board member, delivered a video message of congratulations on The Trust’s success while the Board of County Commissioners proclaimed September 10 – the date of the vote bringing The Trust into existence in 2002 – as “The Children’s Trust Day.” 

“When you join The Trust, or work alongside it, you are really making a commitment to the future of our community and to those who will lead us into the future. We are all about children and families, dedicating resources, funding and time to them and their lives is what we do and there is no more important purpose,” said President and CEO James R. Haj.  

The event was made possible thanks to the generous support of multiple sponsors, including presenting sponsor TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank. Other sponsors include City National Bank, FIU Center for Children and Families, Miami Dolphins Foundation, PNC Bank, University of Miami, ACentral, Citrus Family Care Network, Community Care Plan, Community Health of South Florida, Inc, GreenbergTraurig, Jessie Trice Community Health System, Key Biscayne Community Foundation, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, and WOW MKTG.  

Click here to see a recap video of the ceremony, or here to see photos of the 16th Champions for Children Award Ceremony and visit to learn more about the event and each award category.