The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is excited to announce the recipients of our 2018 Heroes for Children awards.  The awards will be presented at the second annual OICA Heroes Ball, which will be held on July 27 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City.
This banquet allows OICA to recognize individuals and groups across our state who truly are the heroes for children in this time when we need those champions. OICA’s board is thankful to be able to bring awareness to these honorees who do so much for the children of our state.
The OICA Board selects winners for awards in four different categories. Honorees are listed below:

  • Kate Barnard Perseverance AwardSen. Ed Long (posthumous), for his work in the Oklahoma Legislature and his dedication to improving the lives of children across the state. Known as a pioneer in the development of early childhood education in Oklahoma, Long authored legislation to establish the OK Parents as Teachers program and worked to pass legislation that created Oklahoma’s prekindergarten program. He also helped establish the Rise School in Stillwater, which serves children with developmental disabilities, and he was recognized in 2017 by the World Autism and Savant Foundation.  (Previous winner: Melvin and Jasmine Moran, founders of the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum).


  • Sonic Commitment AwardThe Chickasaw Nation, for its commitment to programs not only across their nation’s boundaries, but also throughout our state.  The Chickasaw Nation provides support for their youngest members in education, health care and other critical needs with more than twenty different departments and missions which increase quality of life for their membership. Investments provided by the nation reach across Oklahoma to improve the well-being of communities, public services and philanthropic efforts. (Previous winners: Amy and Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life.Church).


  • Steven A. Novick Advocacy AwardLou Kerr, for her leadership of the Kerr Foundation, which provides invaluable support to non-profits and young Oklahomans, as well as her efforts to support the youth of our state in the various missions she has spearheaded.  Kerr continues to serve in various roles in Oklahoma City and across the state which improve opportunities for our youngest state residents. (previous winners: television stations KFOR, KSWO and KTUL for running Adopt OK Kids PSAs in support of foster children).


  • Public Servants Award: Given jointly to former First Lady Kim Henryand State Treasurer Ken Miller for their work as public servants to encourage opportunities for Oklahoma’s youth.  First Lady Henry, now the leader of the Sarkeys Foundation, was a champion for public education during her eight years and continues to improve the lives of Oklahomans through her work.  Treasurer Miller expanded prospects and awareness of the Oklahoma College Savings Plan as a way to provide opportunities to attend college and coordinated efforts across our nation through his chairmanship of the National Association of State Treasurers. (previous winners: former Congressman Dan Boren and former State Senator Harry Coates).


Nominees Are Being Accepted for the People’s Choice Award

Additionally, two “Anne Roberts People’s Choice Awards” are given by OICA to a group and an individual whose volunteerism, philanthropy, or other actions have made them a hero for Oklahoma’s children. Nominees are accepted from the public until June 22nd at An OICA selection committee will select five finalists from the pool of nominees, and final voting will occur online from June 25th through July 27th, with the winners selected by the public. The award is named after the longest serving executive director of OICA, Anne Roberts, whose two decades of service to children improved the lives of countless young Oklahomans.

OICA Heroes Ball and Sidekicks Ball Details

The 2nd Annual OICA Heroes Ball is scheduled for July 27th, 2018 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City.  It is not just a night for adults!  There is a youth party called the Sidekicks Ball, which allows kids ages 6 – 12 years old to have their own celebration during the adult event.
Adults and children alike are encouraged to dress as their favorite super-hero and help OICA honor some of the champions for children who reach “hero status” for those they help. In addition, we will have live and silent auctions, a prize-wheel and wine pull, and a costume competition for both adults and youth.
Adults who wish to bring children should purchase their own ticket, and the first 50 who sign up their child will also be given a youth ticket for the Sidekicks Ball. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling Nicole Poindexter at (405) 236-5437 or email to for more information about the Heroes/Sidekicks Ball and award winners.
Co-chairs of the 2018 Heroes Ball are Mary Blankenship Pointer and Jonna Kirschner.  This “Dynamic Duo” has graciously donated their time and energy to help support the mission of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.  Please contact OICA at (405) 236-5437 or for more information about the Heroes/Sidekicks Ball and award winners.