TAMPA — Numerous individuals sat on the edge of their seats inside the boardroom as they waited to be called during an awards ceremony at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County.
More than 50 individuals attended For The Family's second annual National FAM Awards on Nov. 17. The Tampa-based nonprofit sought to energize and reinforce the caring spirit that exists amongst individuals so they too can honor the organization's mission of following the Golden Rule.
During the fall, Tampa Bay area residents and others from across the country submitted one-minute videos to For The Family detailing why their nominee deserved to win. Out of 31 entries, For the Family officials chose 12 people to receive a prize in one of four categories: Parent of the Year, Son/Daughter of the Year, Sister/Brother of the Year and Family Volunteer of the Year.
Tyrone Walker, a resource development officer from Tampa's Miracles Outreach, felt honored to receive the Parent of the Year Award.
"I feel blessed for this opportunity and amazingly surprised that people think that much of me," Walker said.
Sisters Seville Brooks and Precious Stokes from Giving Hands Foundation won the Sisters of the Year Award, along with their three other sisters who did not attend. They too felt amazing.
"I believe that making a difference in someone's life would be what the world is about," Brooks said.
"I look up to my mother as a hero because she instilled in us how to give back," Stokes said.
A total of four individuals received the Family Flame Award with a $100 gift card attached to their certificate. Four people placed second and received a certificate with a $50 gift card. Lastly, four people did get third place and also received a certificate with a $25 gift card. Various people from Tampa and the St. Petersburg area won these awards.
The National FAM Awards came into fruition last year and represents how For The Family remains committed to these ideals through its community services. The nonprofit, established in 1998, offers a variety of mentoring programs that assists those dealing with life's challenges before it becomes worse.
For The Family's Motherhood Mentoring Initiative helps expectant mothers and parents of children from birth through eight years of age. The Parental Mentoring Initiative serves youth ages 11 to 17 who committed a nonviolent first juvenile offense or might be at risk of conducting one. In addition to that, the Family Town Hall Series highlights the difficulties of people who suffered in silence and gives them a voice.
Administrator Ward Cox hopes to grow this event with Tampa one day becoming recognized as the center of it.
"All in all, building awareness would be key to developing our infrastructure both as an agency and in terms of the National FAM Awards," Cox said.
For more information, visit strongercommunity.com.
Contact Tatiana Ortiz at [email protected]
For the Family's National FAM Award Winners
Parent of the Year: Tyrone Walker, Larry and Cathy Coker and Patricia Julius.
Son/ Daughter of the Year: Jayden Preston, daughters of Vanessa Howard and Ashley Davis.
Sister/ Brother of the Year: Quinton Roles, Chris Dingel and Payton Gary.
Family Volunteer of the Year: Marcia Minutello, Billy Hazellief and Lisa Jimenez