AUGUSTA — The Maine Children’s Alliance will announce the recipients of the 2017 Giraffe Awards at the Maine Children’s Alliance’s annual Champions for Children Luncheon on Friday, May 19, at the Woodfords Club in Portland. 

The award honors community heroes who “stick out their necks” for Maine children, youth and families.

Giraffe Award winners are individuals, organizations and businesses who routinely go above and beyond their job description, investing time, energy and talent in the well being of Maine kids.

“The Champions for Children Luncheon is a unique opportunity to pause and reflect upon the good things we have been able to achieve for Maine children and families,” said Claire Berkowitz, executive director of the Maine Children’s Alliance. “It provides the much-needed momentum to begin tackling the challenges ahead.”

The celebration will feature keynote speaker Celine Kuhn from the Telling Room, an award-winning nonprofit that uses writing to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills and encourages Maine kids to tell their own stories. In 2015, the Telling Room was named a winner of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award and honored at the White House.

“Despite their serving different parts of the state, filling different roles and pursuing different strategies, all of our Giraffe Award winners are committed to a common cause,” Berkowitz said. “They remind us that it takes all people and all approaches to secure enduring change for Maine kids.”

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The 2017 Champions for Children Luncheon is open to the public. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.

FMI, tickets: www.mekids.org/champion-children.php. 

2017 Giraffe Awards winners

• Margo Walsh, Maine Works, LLC

• Dr. Janice L. Pelletier, Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

• Robert Beekman, MD, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital; Eastern Maine Medical Center; Center for Human Genetics

• Kristie Clarke, Longley Elementary School

• Jenn Carter, Lewiston 21st Century Program

• Intercultural Community Center


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