For the Children July 13, 2020

Monday, 13 July 2020 13:01

For the Children July 13, 2020 Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

For the Children: A Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, CEO – OICA

Historic Heroes Ball to be Virtual, Award Finalists Ready for Your Votes

There is not enough positive news in the world these days. With the constant barrage of politics and pandemic updates, it is hard to maintain an upbeat view.

I am thankful that the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) not only works to overcome the many horrible issues facing the youth of our state, but we also attempt to shed light on the good things occurring to help our children.

In light of this, it is my pleasure to announce the finalists for the 2020 Anne Roberts People’s Choice Award. The Anne Roberts People’s Choice Award is given annually to an Oklahoma individual and an organization that the public feels deserves special acknowledgment. We accept nominations from the public, and finalists are narrowed down by a committee of OICA board members. You get to vote to see who receives this annual recognition.

We saw some tremendous nominees for this award this year, and our committee that narrowed down these to the top five in each category struggled. The following individuals and organizations are the finalists for your consideration.


  • Ashley Chapman – The Red Cord
  • Maria Rosales-Lambert – Oklahoma Interviewing Services
  • Mike Barcum – Peaceful Family Solutions
  • Stacy McNeiland - The CARE Center
  • Ryan Abernathy – The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma


  • Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma Council (Camp DaKaNi)
  • Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma
  • Hunger Free Oklahoma
  • Kehila Park
  • Hearts for Hearing

Now, we need your help to select who the winner should be! Your votes will determine the winner, and you can cast those votes at and see a description of each in their own words to help you make your choice.

We will keep the voting open until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31. The individual and organizational winners will be announced toward the conclusion of the 2020 Heroes Ball, beginning at 6 p.m. that evening.

Other winners previously announced who will be recognized that night are:

  • Noble McIntyre will receive the Persistence Award for Individual Advocates acknowledging his “Noble Cause” recognitions honoring positive youth involvement in our state.
  • The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority will receive the Commitment Award, honoring the organizational advocate of the year with their work in distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Kate Barnard Perseverance Award goes to Judge Doris Fransein for her tireless efforts from the bench to secure better lives for Tulsa County youth.
  • Finally, the Gateway to Leadership Award highlighting outstanding careers in public service for youth will go to former First Lady Rhonda Walters and former Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee.

OICA will hold the fourth annual Heroes Ball virtually this year due to the necessity to social distance from the pandemic currently facing us. The ball webcast via the Zoom platform will originate from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Live and silent auction items will be up for bid to help OICA raise funds to continue our work in child advocacy across the state.

OICA is pleased to announce a sponsorship from Postmates, which will allow us to have banquet meals delivered to the home of Heroes Ball ticket holders who will log on to the banquet webcast. This first of its kind attempt at a virtual banquet is gaining attention across the nation as other nonprofits struggle to find ways to continue securing funds to operate.

To learn more about how to purchase tickets, donate auction items or secure a sponsorship, go to or call Peyton at (405) 236-5437 – and we hope to see you on Zoom Friday, July 31!


About OICA: The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens seeking to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk. Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

Google +


Founded in 2012, our goal is to bring you the latest news with a focus on Poteau, LeFlore County and Southeast Oklahoma. So Much More than News - News as it Happens 24/7! FREE