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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie International:
Charles Bender Receives 2011
 Excellence in Child Welfare Services Award

Place of Hope Executive Director Charles Bender (left) accepts the 2011 Excellence in Child Welfare Services award from Perry Borman, Circuit 15 administrator for the Department of Children and Families.

Place of Hope Executive Director Charles Bender (left) accepts the 2011 Excellence in Child Welfare Services award from Perry Borman, Circuit 15 administrator for the Department of Children and Families.





Place of Hope celebrates 10th year anniversary this year


Palm Beach Gardens, FL – October 2011 – The state of Florida’s Department of Children and Families recognized Place of Hope Executive Director Charles Bender for his service to area children and young adults, by presenting him with the Excellence in Child Welfare Services award.

Bender was honored at the annual statewide Pathway to Independence Summit 2011, held in September. The Summit is an opportunity for professionals throughout the state to share best practices and continue advancing standards of excellence for child welfare practice in Florida.

Place of Hope of Palm Beach Gardens and Lake Park opened to care for foster children in May 2001. Ten years later, it is one of the largest family-style child welfare organizations in Florida. The organization provides emergency and long-term family-style foster care, family outreach and intervention, transitional housing and support services, adoption and foster care recruitment and support, and hope and healing opportunities for children and families who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect.

One of POH’s newest programs, Joann’s Cottage, was dedicated on September 30, thanks to a generous community fundraising effort spearheaded by Jupiter resident Cheri Martin. Joann’s Cottage, a faith-based, family-style maternity home providing comprehensive care for up to 10 young mothers and mothers to be, is named after Cheri’s late mother, Joanne Sirrine. It will open later in 2011.

“Joann’s Cottage is another way for Place of Hope, its supporters and the community at large to positively assist young people, as they make life-altering decisions,” Bender said. “I am very proud to accept this award as recognition from the state of the hard work being done by our staff, donors, board members, supporters and foster parents, who make sure these children and young adults have what they need to succeed.”

Looking forward, Place of Hope welcomes the community to join the November 5 Third Annual Hope Walk at Carlin Park in Jupiter. The day-long event will start with a pre-walk warm-up and a two-mile walk, followed by family-fun activities, such as cardio classes, a dodge ball tournament, bounce houses, pancakes from IHOP and more. Funds raised will allow POH to continue providing its children with items, such as food, clothing, summer camps, educational supplies, sports, special children's activities, family outings and family vacations. Online registration ends November 2, 2011. To learn more, visit
or call 561-775-7195.

To learn more about Place of Hope and its programs, events and services, call 561-775-7195 or visit .

Joyce Brooks

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