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2017 Smart Start Pledge Breakfast for Children’s Champions

Congratulations! Lisa Brooks was named as the 2017 Children’s Champion and Diaper Bank Founders Leigh Robertson and Anna Lair receive Starfish Public Advocacy Award. This year’s Breakfast was held at Hilton Wilmington Riverside on Tuesday, March 28th. The event also raised over $70,000 in sponsorships, gifts and pledges for the work of Smart Start of New Hanover County for its work to increase the capacity of the adults who work with young children in their first 2000 days of life – from parents to pediatricians and social workers to early educators.

 

Nominees (from left to right) Terry & Ashley Mears, Donna Vaught, Nadine Nepper, Susan Henley, Anna Lair ,Sonja Green, Lisa Brooks, and Leigh Robertson.

 

 

 

Lisa Brooks, Children’s Champion

Ms. Brooks is a nationally certified child therapist and forensic interviewer at The Carousel Center in Wilmington. She facilitates forensic interviews for children reported to have experienced abuse or neglect.  Ms. Brooks helps these children do the hard work of healing so that they can get back to just being children.  She uses play to help build connections, trust, and rapport. “In the playroom, children are able to weave rich stories and do deeper work because they are not expected to “talk” or respond conversationally” she says “Bearing witness to their healing and bravery gives me chills and tears every day.”

 

 

 

 

Anna Lair and Leigh Robertson, Starfish Public Advocacy Award Winners

Anna and Leigh co-founded The Diaper Bank of NC Lower Cape Fear in February of 2014. With diapers costing upwards of $100 a month per child, many families are forced to choose between buying food and buying diapers.   “The majority of the families we serve have one or more parents working and yet are unable to afford the diapers they need to keep their child clean, dry, and healthy”, says Anna.  The Diaper Bank is an all-volunteer organization whose community partnerships have been the key to their success.  They have helped give out over 100,000 diapers in just two years.

 

 

Congratulations to the winners and to the nominees honored for their dedication in working to ensure that all children receive the services they need in their earliest years to be successful in school and in life.

Meet Previous Children’s Champions

The event raised over $68,000 in sponsorships, gifts and pledges for the work of Smart Start of New Hanover County for its work to increase the capacity of the adults who work with young children in their first 2000 days of life – from parents to pediatricians and social workers to early educators.

Smart Start of New Hanover County is part of Smart Start, North Carolina’s Early Childhood Initiative.  Smart Start of New Hanover County acts as a local leader in the development of a comprehensive, collaborative approach to serve the needs of all children, birth to 5, in New Hanover County.

 

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2016 Children’s Champions

Mary Ellen Laughnan and Patricia Waddell Named as 2016 Children’s Champions

District Attorney Ben David receives Inaugural Starfish Public Advocacy Award

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Our 2016 Children’s Champions and honorees

Left to right: District Attorney Ben David, Kristen Russo, Briana Morgan, Mary Ellen Laughnen, Patricia Waddell, Lorraine Collura, Will Hatch