23rd Annual Realities For Children Awards Gala
Although we could not gather, we still came Together!
For 23 years, The Realities For Children Awards Gala has been honoring local leaders in the fight against child abuse and empowering youth to triumph over childhood abuse. As we planned our 25th anniversary celebration, scheduled in April in honor of child abuse prevention and awareness month it soon became clear that the pandemic and efforts to slow its spread would not allow this important event to go on as scheduled. We focused on the increased service needs of our children throughout this pandemic but we couldn't let their dreams of a better tomorrow go unanswered.
On September 24 we continued this tradition with a broadcast of the Gala to honor those who serve and serve those in need, as we presented leadership awards and encouraged our 2020 Keeping Dreams Alive Award children to believe that dreams of a better tomorrow can come true.
And although we could not gather the Realities For Children family came together like never before with nearly 2,000 viewers the night of the event raising over $85,000 in Emergency Funding for children who have been abused, neglected abandoned or at-risk.
This year the Gala featured live music from Three-time Grammy nominated artist Joseph Wooten of the Steve Miller Band, Master of Ceremonies Police Chief Jeff Swoboda, and our Keeping Dreams Alive Awards.
The Keeping Dreams Alive program is designed to support and encourage children we serve ages 6-14 who are struggling to keep their dreams alive while living in at-risk situations. Each child writes two essays - their dream for today and what thier dream is for the future. This program grants their today dreams during this difficult time letting them know that there are people who care for them and that dreams can come true for a better tomorrow.
Each year we are proud to recognize the unsung heroes in Child Protection, Law Enforcement, Youth Agencies, Volunteers, Foster Parents, Realities For Children Business Members and all those who come together in Larimer County to make a difference.
Business Member of the Year
In honor of one Business Member's substantial contributions to our mission and services. This is the highest compliment we can pay to a business who has gone way beyond membership expectations and has proven to be a true leader in the world of business.
Reserved for Realities for Children Business Members who have been dedicated Business Members for 10 years or more. These business leaders have contributed greatly to the community and culture of child protection in Larimer County.
Child's Hero Award
Our community is blessed with a team of law enforcement professionals that are genuinely concerned with public safety and regularly go far beyond the call of duty to protect and serve. This award is reserved for one officer of the law who has raised that bar to the highest possible heights of service to a local child in need of protection.
RFC CASEWORKER AWARD
Awarded to one caseworking team who has achieved their goals in child protection as well as exceeded all expectations in keeping children safe. This team is to be commended for their success on the front lines in the battle against child abuse.
My Day I Survived Award
This award was named and is given to honor a 7-year old girl’s heroic survival of a domestic violence incident where she was seriously wounded and lost her siblings and parents. She named this award and each year it is presented in recognition of heroism by other survivors of abuse and neglect.
Volunteer of the Year
Without the work of hundreds of volunteers every year, we could not serve the thousands of local children who rely on our services. This award is in recognition of one volunteer who has dedicated significant time and gifts to the children that we serve.
Partner Agency of the year
With 38 local youth agencies collaborating in service through our Partner Youth Agency program, this award is presented to one agency that has exemplified what it means to work together for the good of the children that we all serve.
Foster Parent of the Year
To offer food, water and shelter to a child that is not your own is an amazing gift. But, to truly bond with that child and offer them the home and love they dreamed of, that deserves an award. We honor one foster parent who has proven their admirable capacity to love.
Distinguished Community Leader
To honor Realities For Children Business Members who have been dedicated Business Members for 20 years! This level of commitment truly shows that these businesses are making it their business to make a difference for children in our community.
Within our program each year, we recognize youth who are overcoming childhood abuse.
Keeping Dreams Alive Awards
Dedicated to inspiring young children still involved in the social services system to identify and follow their dreams. Children ages 6-14 are nominated by our Partner Agencies and asked what their dream is for the future as well as for today. At the Gala, we grant their “today” dreams while encouraging them to believe in their future dreams.
Honoring young adults who have triumphed over childhood adversity. These exceptional youth are nominated by our Partner Agencies and honored for not only surviving the hardships of abuse, but triumphing over them personally, socially and academically. Winners are not only recognized for their achievement, but provided opportunities for further education and post-emancipation support.