Service to Children Awards

They’re often the unsung heroes of our community, but each spring we sing their praises. The Service to Children Awards is an opportunity to recognize individuals and community groups whose efforts have significantly helped protect children and strengthen families.

The 2015 Service to Children Awards celebration were held on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. 

Click here to watch the 2015 Service to Children Awards ceremony.

2015 Service to Children Award Recipients

  • Booker T. Washington Volunteer Award: Maggie Lancaster, Volunteer at Grand Rapids’ Children’s Museum, Make A Wish Foundation, and various other children-focused organizations
  • Christine Nelson Professional Award: Sue Garza, Library Director at Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities

  • Lifetime Child Advocate Award: Jean Silbar, Executive Director at Comprehensive Therapy Center

  • Community Group Professional Award: The Bridge of Arbor Circle, a safe shelter program for youth who are facing homelessness or considering running away

  • Silent Champion: Lisa Butler, Director of Center for Health and Wellness at Grand Rapids Urban League

Click here to see our award recipient videos.

2016 Community Choice Service to Children Award Category

Every year, Family Futures honors outstanding individuals and community groups with four awards. A fifth, one-time award category is voted on and selected by the community. You chose Outrageous Collaboration in 2014 and Silent Champion in 2015.

It is time again to vote for the community choice award category! The award category with the highest number of votes will be selected as the 2016 community choice Service to Children Award category. Voting will take place Monday, October 12 through Friday, November 6, 2015. Click here to vote now.


Nominations for the 2016 Service to Children Awards will be accepted starting in January 2016.