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Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
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Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
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September 29, 2008

Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative Announces Winners of 2008 Be There for Your Kids Awards

The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative will recognize the winners of the first annual Be There for Your Kids Awards during special ceremonies on October 1 and 2. The awards will be distributed during the Initiative’s annual fatherhood training academy.

The Be There awards recognize excellence, creativity, consistency and leadership. Nominations were received in the categories of father of the year, outstanding individual of the year, policy maker or advocate of the year, Colorado Fatherhood Council member of the year, program, coalition or agency of the year and community impact. Nominations and recipients of the awards were not limited to programs funded by the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative.

The winners of the 2008 Be There for Your Kids Awards include:
  • Outstanding Father of the Year: Shalako Powers – The father of two girls, Shalako began participating in the Responsible Fatherhood Program at The Pinon Project in Cortez in January 2008. Over the past eight months, he has had an incredible impact on other fathers participating in the program while learning to instill good values in his daughters to prepare them for the future.
  • Program of the Year: Dad UP/The Road Called STRATE – The Road Called STRATE is an employment and training program dedicated to meeting the needs of at-risk clients, including ex-offenders and non-custodial fathers. Through life skills training, parenting education and gang prevention services, Dad UP clients become strong role models for their children, families and communities.
  • Individual of the Year: Troy Grimes – Troy serves as a father advocate with the Lowry Family Center, a responsible fatherhood community access funded program. He acts as a mentor, provides resources, job opportunities and educational assistance and offers fathers relationship guidance. Troy continually goes beyond expectations while serving fathers.
  • Advocate of the Year: Walt Grady – Walt, vice president of The Arc of Larimer County Board of Directors, serves adults and children with developmental disabilities and their families in Larimer County. He advocates, educates and organizes – through community outreach and discussions with the Colorado State Legislature – all on behalf of people with cognitive impairments.
  • Community Impact Award: Scott Gilmore – Scott has served as a father figure to more than 50 children over the past 15 years as a co-founder of Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) and as a biologist with the Colorado Division on Wildlife. Through ELK, he mentors African-American and Hispanic children to have a deep respect for themselves, their community and the environment.
  • Colorado Fatherhood Council Member of the Year: Dan Welch – As a member of the Council, Dan assisted with the development of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood grant application with the federal government and has served as an important liaison between funded programs and the Colorado Office of Child Support Enforcement. He has also overseen the development of numerous publications designed to assist fathers, programs and communities.
“We are thrilled to recognize such wonderful winners at our first awards ceremony,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Because of their daily efforts more Colorado fathers are engaged in the lives of their children, giving them the opportunity to experience safe and successful childhoods.”

For more information on the Be There for Your Kids Awards or the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, please visit www.coloradodads.com.