Monday, April 30, 2001

Awards honor five for family advocacy

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD — Five people were recognized last week as outstanding advocates for children and families in Butler County.

        Awards were given during the seventh annual Celebrating Families Community Breakfast held at Receptions Conference and Banquet Center.

        The awards were presented by the Celebrating Families Committee, which includes representatives from numerous social-service agencies in Butler County.

        Winners, selected from more than 30 nominees:

        • Beth Benjamin, a teacher for developmentally handicapped students at Edgewood Middle School.

        • Vicki Cole, a victims' advocate with the Butler County Prosecutor's Office. She was honored “for consistently encouraging, supporting and ad vocating for crime victims and speaking up fearlessly to uphold the rights of victims,” award organizers said.

        • Kent Jones, a volunteer with Parachute: Special Advocates for Children of Butler County, in which volunteers speak on behalf of children in court cases.

        • Robert Neubert of the Association for Retarded Citizens of Butler County. Mr. Neubert is credited with spearheading a statewide movement for additional funding to support people with disabilities who want to live at home.

        • Kathy Smith of the Butler County Children Services Foster/Adoptive Parent Program. Mrs. Smith and her husband, Elbert, have served as foster and adoptive parents for three severely handicapped children.

        The awards were held in conjunction with Child Abuse Prevention Month.


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