By OICA CEO Joe Dorman
As we prepare for our upcoming banquet, it is my privilege to recognize the folks who the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) will honor the evening of August 10th at our Heroes Ball! We announced the winners just this past weekend, but I would like to go into further details about why each one of these individuals and organizations are “heroes” for Oklahoma kids.
Our first honorees, receiving the SONIC Commitment Award, are Pastor Craig Groeschel and his wife Amy Groeschel of Life.Church. Craig and Amy are being recognized for their work to encourage Oklahomans to become foster or adoptive parents. Largely because of their efforts and the strong message they sent to their congregation, Oklahoma met its goal of recruiting more than 1,000 foster families last year.
Our next honorees will receive the Steven A. Novick Award for Dedication. If you have not heard of him, Steven was the attorney who won a landmark lawsuit which uncovered significant shortcomings within Oklahoma’s child welfare system, ultimately leading to major reforms and the creation of OICA. The recipients this year are the television stations KFOR, KTUL and KSWO, each one of which devoted significant air time to the AdoptOkKids program that helps children in foster care find adoptive families. Because of their dedication to Oklahoma children, their viewers heard the stories of the young men and women who are desperately searching for permanent, loving adoptive homes. If you would like to learn more about how you can become an approved adoptive family for Oklahoma DHS, I would encourage you to go to www.adoptokkids.org and learn more about these children and how you can help.
Our third award, the Kate Barnard Award for Perseverance, goes to Jasmine and Melvin Moran. If you have never been to Seminole, Oklahoma, then you are missing out on the chance to tour one of the jewels of Oklahoma: The Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum. The Moran Family is the creator of this wonderful playground of knowledge for children and has been supporting countless children’s causes across the state for many years. This couple is a true treasure for our state.
Lastly, our final awards are the Anne Roberts People’s Choice Awards. Just as it sounds, Oklahomans will have the ability to vote on the winners, choosing one of twelve individuals and seven organizational nominees. To learn more about the nominees and to cast your online ballot for each of the two categories, go to oica.org. We will allow Heroes Ball attendees to cast a ballot the night of the event and it could come down to the wire!
We hope to see you that night at the Heroes Ball and, if you are bringing children, to welcome them to the Kids Ball, which provides fun activities for attendees ages 6 to 12 years old. The Heroes Ball will have a super hero theme to honor those champions above and the many other folks who help make a difference for the children of Oklahoma!
Tickets are available for the OICA Heroes Ball at OICA.org.