On April 24th, we celebrated outstanding leaders in child maltreatment prevention at our 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast. 

We were inspired, not only by our award recipients, but also by everyone who is committed to strengthening families, organizations, and communities to prevent child maltreatment.

Weren’t able to make it? Don’t worry–we took photos!

Join us as we look back on all of the fun we had celebrating Colorado’s leaders in prevention!

We started off the morning by welcoming guests to the Denver Children’s Museum and joining everyone for breakfast.

Colleagues, friends, and supporters of family strengthening efforts mingled and built connections before the awards begun. Many guests were able to read Illuminate’s 2023 Annual Report for the first time! 

Onto our speakers!

To kick off the event, Jade Woodard, Illuminate’s Executive Director, provided opening remarks and spoke on the importance of recognizing the individuals and organizations in our communities who work tirelessly to help children and families thrive.

Jade then introduced guest speaker Niki W. Gill Adams, M. Ed, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility at the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.

Niki discussed how our communities can thrive when all families are encouraged to show up exactly as they are, regardless of race, culture, and background, to receive the support they need.

She explained that we are ALL leaders when it comes to strengthening families, and it is up to us to decide what type of leaders we will be.

Next, the awards!

Anne Auld, one of Illuminate’s Deputy Directors, presented the Community Leadership Award to Lisa Blake.

Lisa has been a force in multiple coalitions and networks supported by Illuminate. As a lived experience expert, Lisa brings valuable insight to The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families and CO-ECCS, two initiatives working to build systems and communities that help families thrive.

Left to right: Anne Auld, Lisa Blake, Jade Woodard.

Angela Shehorn (left) and Eric Chervenak (right).

Eric Chervenak, Illuminate’s Child Care Operations Manager, presented the Dynamic Leadership Award to Angela Shehorn.

Angela leads a team of nine dedicated individuals who serve children and families in 11 counties in southeastern Colorado, and has been an instrumental force in the effort to relaunch Illuminating Child Care services in southeastern Colorado.

Lex Loutzenhiser, Illuminate’s Policy Manager, presented the Courageous Leadership Award to Representative Chris deGruy Kennedy.

Rep. deGruy Kennedy has a record as a champion of policy changes that strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment, most notably through his role as Chair on the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee.

Left to right: Jade Woodard, Rep. deGruy Kennedy, Lex Loutzenhiser.

Left to right: Jade Woodard, Dr. Nia Cantey, Kelly Sim, Jillian Fabricius.

Jillian Fabricius, one of Illuminate’s Deputy Directors, presented the Catalytic Leadership Award to Casey Family Programs.

Casey Family Programs has made strategic investments over many years to catalyze programmatic and systems change work in the state of Colorado, with a particular emphasis on building Colorado’s capacity for including people with lived experience.

Kelli Sutton, an Illuminate Strategic Initiatives Manager, presented the Innovative Leadership Award to Dr. Lauren Bruns.

Dr. Bruns has shown an unwavering commitment and innovative approach to improving outcomes for birthing people and infants. Dr. Bruns is leading change and reform across Colorado in order to support equity for our most vulnerable and underserved populations.

Dr. Lauren Bruns (left) and Kelli Sutton (right).

Left to right: Toni Miner, Judge Gail Meinster, Jade Woodard.

Toni Miner, Illuminate’s Circle of Parents Recovery Program Manager, presented the Lori Moriarty Leadership Award to Judge Gail Meinster.

Judge Meinster is the Presiding Juvenile Judge for the First Judicial District in Colorado and hears delinquency, dependency and neglect, and domestic relation cases, and presides over the Family Integrated Treatment Court, a dependency and neglect drug court. Her entire career – on the bench, as a county attorney, and as a nonprofit leader – has been dedicated to supporting families.

Thanks for joining us!

Learn more about child abuse prevention and get involved at COPinwheelsforPrevention.org.

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