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Recognizing Child Advocates

The 17th annual Accolades Luncheon helps at-risk children and honors top child advocates


Photographer: Roswitha Vogler

The Celebration

The luxurious Hotel Zaza in the museum district welcomed over 250 guests to the 17th annual Accolades Luncheon hosted by CHILDREN AT RISK. This was the first year for the luncheon’s new theme: The Academy Awards of Child Advocacy. Laura and Rick Jaramillo chaired the festive event, which honored Ken and Tracy Janda and Community Health Choice with the Accolades Award. FOX 26 news anchor Melissa Wilson emceed.

The Story

Ten individuals and organizations received awards for their tireless efforts to assist and protect children. And the winners are: Amanda Edwards, who received the John M. O’Quinn Public Policy Award; Ted Poe, who received the Voice for Children Award; Christina Triantaphyllis, who received the Rising Star in Child Advocacy Award; Elena Marks, who received the Child Health Advocate of the Year Award; Leadership ISD, which received the Outstanding New Child-Focused Nonprofit Award; Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory of Houston, which received the Innovation in the Field of Child Advocacy Award; Small Steps Nurturing Center, which received the Outstanding Child-Focused Nonprofit Award; Dr. Quianta Moore, who received the Maconda Brown O’Connor Legacy Distinguished Child Advocate Award; Gaby Rodriguez, who received the Outstanding Youth in Child Advocacy Award; and Patra Brannon-Isaac, who received the Education Advocate of the Year Award.

The Moments

Auctioneer, Judge Eric Andell, kept the auction bids moving. His energetic efforts resulted in the Houston Rockets luxury suite being the top prize with the Frank’s Americana dinner for eight package coming in a close second.

Over $270,000 was raised for CHILDREN AT RISK. This included a special gift of $79,000 from Wells Fargo in support of early education efforts.

Guests: Buddy Steves, Donald Bowers, Chris Bell, Rebecca Hove, Chris Watt, Sukanti Ghosh, Sherman and Nicole Lewis, Jasmine Turner, Kayla Tolunay, Mark Troth, and Larry Wisniewski.



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 groundbreaking 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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