Local News

Supporters of foundation celebrate 20-year anniversary

— At times, Jeffrey Roth, head of the Champion for Children Advocacy Center of Highlands County, said he’s asked the Champion for Children Foundation repeatedly for help for multiple families over a short period of time.

It was always “one more time for one more family,” he said Thursday.

But during the past 14 years that he’s been director, Roth said, the foundation never refused to help a family in need.

Roth spoke about the advocacy center and the foundation during a celebration of the foundation’s 20th anniversary at the Champion for Children Circle Theatre.

The foundation was largely the vision of Kevin Roberts, who is now the chief executive officer. Besides the advocacy center, which houses the Special Victims Unit of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, offices of the Florida Department of Children and Family Services and other agencies.

Roberts said the event was to thank those who have supported the foundation during the last two decades. It does not receive tax dollars.

The foundation also supports programs that help children with autism and screen children for vision problems. Programs supported by the foundation also provide a safehouse where an abused spouses can take their children, and one that helps families with children with illness, such as cancer.

George Hensley, who was formerly mayor, said that without the foundation many families over the past 20 years may have not received the needed services.


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