Dozens of Montanans were recognized Tuesday for their efforts to support children and families.
During the annual Prevent Child Abuse & Neglect Conference, Governor Steve Bullock honored individuals who are foster parents, judges, child protection specialists and special youth advocates.
Among the recipients were Ken Elliot and his late wife Jana who died in a car crash last year. The couple was named 2017 Foster Parents of the Year and future foster parents of the year awards will be named after Jana.
“To see the governor here and the director here and the hundreds and hundreds of other people here who work tirelessly everyday -- it is a good feeling to know we're part of that team here," Elliot said.
The governor was joined by Montana Children's Trust Fund, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Montana and the Department of Public Health and Human Services Child and Family Services Division.
Numerous other children’s organizations were onsite at the conference to highlight their services.
Here is the complete list of the winners and honorable mentions:
Montana Children’s Trust Fund Awards
· Strengthening Families Award – Kathy Dillman, Roundup
· Pinwheels for Prevention Award – Percelia Buffalo BullTail, Hardin.
· Montana Service to Children Award – Ann Gilkey, Helena.
· Outstanding Corporate Citizenship – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Awards
· CASA Volunteer of the Year – Patti Boggess, Anaconda
· CASA Champion, Polly Cavill – Plains
Child and Family Services Division (CFSD)
Foster Parents of the Year – Honorable Mention: Guy and Carissa Emmet, Kalispell; Don and Meridith Todd, Columbia Falls; Cliff and Chamene Plum, Havre; Andy and Danielle Erdahl, Helena; Brady and Elaine Anderson-Wood, Missoula; Wes and Linda Huffman, Libby; and Elizabeth Miller, Helena.
The Engaging Families in Positive Change Award – Angela Timmes, Hamilton.
The Youth Achievement of the Year Award – Jymie Walker, Livingston; Maxine Plainfeather, Hays; Syndrea Hameline, Anaconda; Tayvin Peterson, Missoula; and RJ Meiwald, Lodge Grass.
The Creative Solutions Award – Victoria Varma, Helena.
The Resiliency Award – Jennifer Winkley, Miles City.