Department of Children and Families
David E. Wilkins
April 5, 2012
Northwest Region Communications Director
PANAMA CITY, FLA. – Business owners, community leaders, volunteers and state workers celebrated the official grand opening of the Department of Children and Families Bay County Service Center in a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony. In conjunction with National Volunteer Month, DCF also recognized partners and volunteers who give back to the community and encouraged businesses and individuals to get involved in helping others.
"Our new, modernized location provides a welcoming and comfortable environment for both the people we serve, especially our ACCESS Florida families and staff," said DCF's Circuit Community Development Administrator Courtney Peel. "This office move is part of a statewide effort in reducing leased building space - projected to save more than $1 million this year - by increasing teleworking and community partnerships."
DCF recognized outstanding "Partners for Promise" for their efforts to improve the lives of area children, families and seniors. The Department's "Partners for Promise" initiative encourages Florida businesses of all sizes to share their time, talent and resources to help families in need.
Chipola College's Bryan Craven, Courtney Peel.
Courtney Peel, Burl Hambrick.
Ms. Cari Henry, a local beautician, does prom hair and makeup for girls in foster care to help them look their best for their big night. The Junior Service League of Panama City was recognized for providing elder outreach, supplying clothing for children removed from their homes, assisting with after-school programs, and providing supplies for area domestic violence centers and homeless shelters. Chipola College and Chipola Appreciation Club give free sporting event tickets to foster parents and children and will sponsor a camp for foster children as part of the Department’s "Camps for Champions" (www.campsforchampions.com) initiative.
The Department also celebrated three volunteers who each give their time and talents in fulfillment of the Department's mission to protect the vulnerable and help families achieve self-sufficiency. Volunteers Carla McNeil and Linda Hunt were honored for their generosity and dedication to working hand-in-hand with DCF staff to help others. Burl Hamrick was given special recognition for his more than 20 years of service volunteering with DCF.
"Volunteer efforts are so greatly needed in five focus areas – academic success, family prosperity, healthy living, child safety and in supporting our seniors," said Peel, calling on the community to fill the gaps for different needs. "When both individuals and businesses commit to serving others, the impact on the health and well-being of the community is enormous."
Thursday's Ribbon Cutting and recognition of "Partners for Promise" and DCF volunteers officially marks the Service Center's Grand Opening. To learn more or to become involved with "Partners for Promise", please visit www.flpartnersforpromise.com.
volunteers and staff for the ceremonial ribbon cutting.