Forever Family: Mind Body Spirit... Celebrating 10 Years
Mind-Body-Spirit... A Path to Healing Childhood Abuse
Forever Family Kicks Off 10th Year of Service
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (August 10, 2012) "Keeping our Children Safe, A Team Approach" is the theme of Forever Family's 10th Anniversary Kickoff, taking place on September 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Lauderdale Yacht Club. The event is chaired by Caryn Botknecht, Kathy Leone and Manya Lowry and emceed by Tony Segreto, Forever Family Board Member and former NBC 6 South Florida anchor. The Presenting Sponsor is Tonja Haddad Coleman, PA.
"We are truly grateful to our good friend Tonja and her colleagues at the firm for their generosity in supporting us and for their kindness and generosity for our children throughout the year," said Gia Tutalo-Mote, Founder/CEO of Forever Family. "They share our passion for helping the neediest of children in our community, those without families of their own."
"We support Gia and Forever Family because they are the voice for the children who have nobody to speak for them," said Ms. Haddad-Coleman. "We are lucky to have wonderful families and the ability to give time, attention, and love to our children, and Gia and Forever Family make sure that many other children are afforded the opportunity to receive the same," she added.
Forever Family's television segments reach millions of viewers each year with the message that everyone can make a difference in the lives of children in foster care. This critical program changes perceptions about the children removed from their home, including those "aging-out" when they turn 18.
Launched locally on NBC6 South Florida in 2002, Forever Family now airs in hundreds of cities across Florida and in North Carolina on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates. Forever Family also has a toll-free phone line where viewers can receive information regarding fostering, volunteering and adopting. Youth aging out or families in need can be connected with available resources. Over the past 10 years, Forever Family viewers have donated more than a half a million dollars in cash, goods and services for Broward's foster children, medically needy children and those leaving foster care without a family at age 18.
Thanks to the support of the Children's Services Council of Broward County (CSC) and NBC6, Forever Family is able to promote and enhance other agencies' efforts at no cost to them. "I am proud of the fact that Forever Family has been an effective community partner for the past 10 years and delighted by their success. Gia's dedication and relentless support on behalf of children and youth in need of a permanent home is an inspiration to all," said Cindy Arenberg-Seltzer, President/CEO of the CSC.
"Forever Family is the most valuable recruitment program the agency has," said Emilio Benitez, President/CEO of ChildNet. "Not only does Forever Family find families for waiting children, it also uses powerful TV media to raise awareness and change perceptions about who the children in foster care really are."
Forever Family's NBC6 South Florida segments have generated more than 1,200 calls and e-mails each year, with inquires about adoption and helping find families for more than 400 children living in foster care. The model program is being replicated throughout the country and has won such honors as the United States Department of Health & Human Services' Adoption Excellence Award, the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award, Florida Department of Children and Families Advocate of the Year, and numerous other prestigious awards.
"This will be a 'kick-off' to a full year of activities and fundraisers designed to help support an organization that has done so much for so many children, families and non-profit groups in our community," said Kathy Leone.
Renowned Author and Criminal Investigator Joe Matthews will be the Keynote Speaker. Best known for solving the cold case of Adam Walsh 25 years ago, Matthews served on the City of Miami Beach Police Department for 29 years. His book, "Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America," co-authored with mystery writer Les Standiford, recounts the tragic and shocking abduction and murder of 6 year-old Adam Walsh.
The vital event will also serve as the venue for the presentation of the 2nd Annual Marsha and Alan Levy Champion of Child Abuse Prevention Award. This year the prestigious award will be presented to the family of the late director the Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center, Nancy Cotterman. Broward AWARE! Protecting Our Children, chaired by Andrew Leone of the Children's Services Council of Broward, sponsors the award.
Additional program speakers include: Retired Judge John Frusciante, discussing judicial proceedings; Marsha Christie, speaking about Broward Sheriff's Office investigation of cases; Clinical Psychologist Brooke Foris, Psy.D. with the Chrysalis Center addressing treatment plans for abuse cases; Anne Alper, Esq. focusing on family law and children's rights; and Forensic Psychologist Amy Swan, Psy.D. an expert on children's evaluations and the need for therapy. Lauren Book, author of "It's OK to Tell," will share her own personal story and her commitment to put an end to sexual abuse.
"We are grateful for the host of child welfare experts who have graciously volunteered their time to share their insight and experience into healing childhood abuse," said Ms. Tutalo-Mote.
Tickets are $50.00 and benefit Forever Family and Bella's Group. For more information, visit www.foreverfamily.org or call 1-888-365-FAMILY. The Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club is located at 1725 Southeast 12th Street in Fort Lauderdale.
Keeping Our Children Safe includes an array of speakers addressing specific child needs. Renowned Author and Criminal Investigator Joe Matthews will headline the event and discuss the progress which has been made in child safety throughout the years. Mr. Matthews served on the City of Miami Beach Police Department for 29 years investigating more than 1,000 death cases. He is most recognized for his efforts in solving the cold case of Adam Walsh 25 years after his disappearance and authoring "Bringing Adam Home". Additional program speakers include: Retired Florida Circuit Court Judge John Frusciante, who will provide overall insight into judicial proceedings; Marsha Christi, CPIS Service Provider Specialist with BSO, discussing the procedures and investigation of cases; Anne Alper, Esq. focusing on family law and children's rights; Forensic Psychologist Amy Swan, Psy.D. who will discuss children's evaluations and the need for therapy; and Clinical Psychologist Brooke Foris, Psy.D. with the Chrysalis Center addressing treatment plans for abuse cases.
This luncheon will also serve as the venue for the 2nd Annual Marsha and Alan Levy Champion of Child Abuse Prevention Award, being presented to the family of the late director the Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center, Nancy Cotterman. In collaboration with the County's Broward AWARE! Protecting Our Children efforts spearheaded by Andrew Leone, Community Partnership Specialist with the Children's Services Council of Broward, the award recognizes the work of outstanding individuals in Broward County dedicated to children. For the past several years, Broward AWARE has brought much needed attention to the prevention of abuse and neglect among our children. Joining the efforts to honor and remember Nancy Cotterman is Lauren Book, founder of Lauren's Kids and author of "It's OK to Tell," a book which relates her own personal story and her commitment today to put an end to sexual abuse.
Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, President/CEO of the Children's Services Council of Broward County, a Forever Family funding partner states, "The CSC proudly supports Forever Family. Our partnership has helped fulfill the dreams and aspirations of countless children and youth. I couldn't be more delighted that, as the CSC also recently celebrated its 10 years, we have supported Forever Family and hope to continue doing so for the next 10 years," she said.
Thanks to the support of the CSC and in partnership with ChildNet, Forever Family has become an integral part of assisting children who have been removed from their home. Forever Family gives children in foster care and those "aging-out" of foster care an opportunity to advocate for themselves by utilizing the power of media to raise awareness about their need for adoption. Forever Family is broadcast on NBC6 South Florida in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and WPEC-CBS 12 in Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast. This program has resulted in thousands of recruitment calls and hundreds of new adoptions, foster parents and volunteers.
Keeping Our Children Safe A Team Approach is a kick-off for Forever Family's 10th year of service. Since 2002, the agency under the direction of Gia Tutalo-Mote, has helped to find homes for more than 400 children living in foster care. On-air segments generate more than 1,200 calls and e-mails each year with inquires about adoption. The model program is being replicated throughout the country and has won such honors as the United States Department of Health & Human Services' Adoption Excellence Award, the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award, Florida Department of Children and Families Advocate of the Year, and numerous other prestigious awards.
For further information or to support Forever Family's 10th Anniversary and the Keeping Our Children Safe A Team Approach event, please visit www.foreverfamily.org or call 1-888-365-FAMILY
Lauderdale Yacht Club (View)
1725 Southeast 12th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316