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Children’s Network of San Bernardino County hosts Shine-a-Light Breakfast

Children's Fund Awards Scholarships to Ten Youth

Stacy Iverson, Children's Fund President & CEO, stands with four of the Shine-a-Light Scholars at the Shine-a-Light on Child Abuse Awards Breakfast.

By Michel Nolan, The Sun Originally posted on April 7, 2016

SAN BERNARDINO - Clouds may have obscured Thursday morning’s sun, but the Valencia Room at the National Orange Show Events Center filled with illumination as the Shine-a-Light on Child Abuse Awards Breakfast opened its doors to a standing-room-only crowd. Children’s Network of San Bernardino County hosted its 18th annual breakfast event, presenting awards to those committed to improving life for foster youth and abused children. In all, 21 heroes were honored for their commitment to the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable population. Former 4th District San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt, who received the 2016 Children’s Network Lifetime Advocate Award, quoted Martin Luther King Jr. when he said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” Ovitt, who is also a lifetime advocate, educator and policy-maker, added he was “so proud of the vision we all have serving children from cradle to career.”

Other honorees included Landeros Furniture, Business; Beth Gill, Children and Family Services; Maria Flores, Children and Family Services; Rochford Foundation, Community-based Provider; Revolution Youth Advocates, Organization; Dianne Wolkenhauer, Department of Behavioral Health; Bernadette Beltran, Department of Public Health; Olga Valdez, Education, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools; Valerio Mejia, Education, San Bernardino City Unified School District; Bob and Laura Breitel, Foster Parents; Aaron Conley, Law Enforcement, San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff; Karen Schmauss, Legal, Deputy District Attorney; Ana Lee, Legal, Deputy Public Defender; Michael A. Markel, Legal, Office of the County County Counsel; Iris Robertson, Legal, Victim Advocate, Bureau of Victim Services; Linda McDonald, Medical; Lynda Scherer, Probation; Chris and Amy Hernandez, Volunteer; San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Polygraph Detail; and San Bernardino County Human Services Warehouse Distribution Center Staff. Scholarships were also presented by Children’s Fund to foster youth who have struggled to overcome and achieve obstacles. The 10 young adults had written down their emotional stories so the advocates could see what a difference Children’s Network made in their lives. Scholarships went to Rudy, Rivian, Renee, Masood, Yadira, Syrena, Vennessa, Jessie, Valerie, and Melissa. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon thanked the gathering of more than 600 for taking care of the victims. At the end of the program, when the tiny tots from the Mill Center Head Start State Preschool sang “This Little Light of Mine,” the group of children had adults dabbing at their eyes. School Board President Margaret Hill said she was happy to be at the gathering to see the “difference we are making in these kids’ lives.”

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