Champions Get Smart

Helping Hand Home Honors Elizabeth Smart and Six Champions for Children

By Rose Betty Williams
Photography by Rose Betty Williams


The Helping Hand Home for Children hosted the 14th annual Champions for Children Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Austin Hotel. The sold out, capacity crowd of 1450 celebrated the Champions honorees who are nominated by their co-workers, friends and community for their selfless dedication to and advocacy of children in need.


Hope Happens Here. Elizabeth Smart gave the keynote address, describing her traumatic abduction in 2002, her return to her family, her recovery and her work today as an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, national legislation, and the importance of overcoming extreme adversity and not allowing the past to dictate the future.  Master of Ceremonies Ron Franklin introduced the honorees, and Helping Hand Home President Carol Burdette presented the awards.


Co-chaired by Suzy Balagia and David Roche, the Champions for Children luncheon recognized Philanthropic Honorees Carol and Tim Crowley; and Community Honorees Steve Bewsey, LifeWorks; Lisa Brown, Community Volunteer; Chris Janawicz, Helping Hand Home for Children; Vicki Howard and Maxine Roberts, Center for Child Protection; and Courtney Riley, The Settlement Home for Children.  Dave Junker and Lee Ann Kahlor also told their inspiring story as foster parents. Event proceeds benefit the Helping Hand Home for Children in Austin that provides a nurturing and therapeutic home for children who have suffered severe abuse and neglect. The HHH offers therapy and psychiatric services, skilled supervision, education, enrichment and foster and adoption services.


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