Bend, Oregon- Sue Jorgenson, Bend Parks and Recreation District’s Recreation Manager, was presented the Champion for Children award this afternoon at the 10th annual Champions for Children Luncheon. Nearly 200 community members and dignitaries were in attendance. Jorgenson was selected based on her commitment to children, years of service, dedication to serving diverse audiences as well as her other efforts in supporting other programs throughout the community. “Sue Jorgensen spends countless hours advocating and giving children a voice in our community whether it is; in her job as Recreation Manager for Bend Park and Recreation District or in a number of youth focused advisory roles” explained Sue Boettner who nominated Jorgenson.
The other five nominees included Lolly Nelson from Deschutes County Children’s and Family Commission, Linda Gilpin from Together for Children, Jay Smith from CASA, Heather McNeil, from Deschutes Public Library and Kate Moore from the Deschutes County Health Department.
The Champions for Children Luncheon is an annual fundraising event that provides Healthy Beginnings with community awareness and helps provide needed support and donations to help support and expand the service. The luncheon’s key note speaker, Duke Shepard was joined by several other dignitaries including Representative Gene Whisnant, and Representative Jason Conger.
“The donations raised today will go to support direct services in Central Oregon, and help us screen and connect kids to needed services. The program serves hundreds of children and families each year and every family attending a Healthy Beginnings screening receives extensive information on the health and development of their child. Funding is always a challenge for a private nonprofit like Healthy Beginnings” explained Holly Remer, the programs Executive Director.
The program will also be providing families with support in the application and renewal process for Healthy Kids Health Insurance, a state wide initiative. This project is for families with uninsured children – whether they are working or not AND for families struggling with finding insurance options for their kids. OHP has expanded the income guidelines, meaning more children will be covered without cost to the family AND many others will have the option to purchase coverage at a reduced cost – a huge benefit for working parents struggling to provide health insurance for their children.