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The Future Shines Brighter Thanks to Child Advocates

The annual Accolades Luncheon presents the Academy Awards of Child Advocacy to local and state-wide children’s advocates

Photo credit: Quy Tran 

The Celebration

Hotel ZaZa was the place to be on October 8, 2021 for over 200 guests, delighted, once again, to meet and mingle in person for an important cause. The occasion was the annual Accolades Luncheon: The Academy Awards of Child Advocacy, hosted by statewide research and advocacy nonprofit CHILDREN AT RISK. As participants arrived at the venue, they were welcomed by chairs Olivia and Eric Barvin; honorary chair, former Houston City Council Member, Amanda Edwards; and the musical renderings of the Waltrip HS Jazz Band. Dr. Bob Sanborn, president and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK, and board chair, Devika Kornbacher, emceed.


The Story

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch and participated in the live auction. The highlight of the live auction was a dinner and wine pairing for six prepared by Chef David Cordúaof The Lymbar, a new restaurant which will be opening in Houston in the spring of 2022.


The Moments

Dr. Sanborn spoke about the importance of understanding and recognizing the root causes of child poverty and inequality and Dr. Melanie Johnson, president and CEO of Collaborative for Children, stressed the necessity of improving early childhood education for all children.


Champion for Children Award: Stephen Klineberg, PhD, Founding Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Maconda Brown O'Connor Legacy Distinguished Advocate Award: Larry James, CEO Emeritus, CitySquare

Voice for Children Award: Texas Representative Angie Chen Button and Texas Representative James Talarico 


Child advocates from around the state were also honored.

The event raised $135,000to ensure Texas children have a better life and future.  


Guests: Dr. Melanie Johnson, Doe and Henry Florsheim, Carolyn Watson, Chris Wallace, Larry Wisniewski and Krista Frazier, Chris Watt, Pam Humphrey, and Richard Loewenstern.


CHILDREN AT RISK is a nonprofit organization leading the way to improving the quality of life for Texas’ children through research, collaboration, and advocacy. CHILDREN AT RISK educates the community and public officials based on its ground-breaking research, which tracks children’s health, safety, education, and economic conditions. By understanding children’s needs and speaking out on their behalf, CHILDREN AT RISK drives change.

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