2009 Be There for Your Kids Awards Winners

In an effort to recognize and reward outstanding individuals and program service in healthy father involvement with children, families and communities throughout Colorado, the Colorado Fatherhood Council established the Be There for Your Kids Awards in 2008. Individuals and programs from across the State that demonstrate excellence, consistency, creativity and leadership in serving fathers or in being a father are eligible to receive an award.

The winners of the 2009 Be There for Your Kids Awards were announced during the 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally. They include:

Dennis Hofts – Advocate of the Year - The father of a son who suffers from schizophrenia, Dennis has worked tirelessly with the Colorado chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to push through needed legislation and reduce the stigma of mental illness.

Tyler Osterhaus – Colorado Fatherhood Council Member of the Year - The Colorado Fatherhood Council is a coalition of fatherhood programs, providers, State agencies and dads that meet on a monthly basis to discuss fatherhood issues. Tyler currently serves as the Council’s domestic violence work team chair. He has contributed to the work of the Council in almost every way from serving on the leadership team, coordinating regional forums, assisting with public awareness activities and promoting fatherwork wherever he goes.

Jerome Perkins – Fatherhood Practitioner of the Year - Jerome is the administrator of Christlife Ministries in Pueblo, one of 28 programs currently funded by the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. This program is focused on mentoring fathers in prison to connect with their children on the inside while also preparing them for a lasting relationship with their family when they are released. Jerome has put forth an enormous amount of effort to increase awareness of Christlife Ministries in prisons throughout southeast Colorado.

Urban Colors Arts & Mentoring (UCAM) – Program of the Year – UCAM provides at-risk fathers and families in Northeast Denver and Aurora with the tools they need to become more self-sufficient. Through their Step Up to the Plate fatherhood program, UCAM offers parenting education, mentorship, GED education, employment assistance and financial literacy information. According to those who nominated UCAM for this award, the program has a strong presence in the community and the staff are always willing to work extra hours, assisting fathers with whatever they need to improve their lives.

Joel Webster – Father of the Year –
We were honored to present the 2009 Father of the Year award to Denver resident Joel Webster. Joel and his wife Bridget are parents to 13-year-old Michael and 9-year-old Haley. After spending part of his childhood in foster care and being homeless for a short period of time, Joel has shown a tremendous commitment to his two children and all of the children living in his community.

Congratulations to all of the 2009 Be There Awards winners! In addition to the recognition they received at the Fatherhood Rally, each winner will also be honored during the 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Training Academy this fall.