The Starting Place honored Florida State Senator Nan Rich for her outstanding efforts on behalf of those facing substance abuse and mental health issues with the presentation of the inaugural Sheldon Shaffer Memorial Award at its annual breakfast. The award celebrates the life of Mr. Sheldon Shaffer, a founder and the first executive director of The Starting Place, who passed away earlier this year.
“It’s only fitting that Senator Rich should receive this first award since her passion for our cause is as strong as Mr. Shaffer’s was,” said Dr. Joel Kaufman, CEO of The Starting Place. “We congratulate her for her important efforts in helping those in need in our community.”
One of the most dedicated members of the Florida Legislature, Nan Rich was first elected to the Florida State Senate in 2004 after serving in the House of Representatives from 2000-2004. She is the current leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus and will conclude her term in November, 2012.
Senator Rich is widely recognized as one of Florida’s leading champions of children’s and social justice issues. She currently serves on numerous Senate committees including Health and Human Services Appropriations, Vice Chair; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, Vice Chair; Regulated Industries; Reapportionment; Environmental Preservation and Conservation; and the Joint Legislative Budget Commission. She also serves on the Florida Children & Youth Cabinet as the appointee of the Senate President.
The Starting Place breakfast, themed “Building A Healthier Tomorrow, One Life at a Time” attracted 200 guests and brought in $16,000 for The nonprofit orgainzation, which provides services that prevent, intervene, and treat children, teens, young adults, and families facing substance abuse and mental illness.
Sponsors included Coventry Insurance, Eli Lilly, Chrysalis Health, Hays, Addiction Legal Services, AutoNation, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Broward Health, Cindy Schutt PR, Fort Lauderdale/Atlantic Shores Hospital, Paul Daly, Florida Certification Board, Health Business Solutions, Memorial Healthcare System, SurfaceLogix. For more information, call (954) 327- 4060.
The Starting Place Facts
- The Starting Place was founded in 1969 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
- Each year, The Starting Place provides services to over 2,500 unduplicated Broward County youth and their families who have financial challenges being able to afford to pay for substance abuse and mental health services
- The Starting Place holds the respected CARF accreditation (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities).
- The Starting Place receives funding to provide services from the Department of Children and Families, Broward County/Children’s Services Division, Children’s Services Council, United Way of Broward County, United Way’s Commission on Substance Abuse, the JM Family Foundation, Sun Sentinel Children’s Diversity fund, Department of Juvenile Justice, Pediatric Associates, etc.
- The agency is proud of its collaborative community partnerships with Broward County Judicial System, Department of Juvenile Justice, School Board of Broward County, Memorial Health Care System, and many others.
- The Starting Place has been recognized by the Florida Office of Drug Control, was the recipient of the 2002 United Way of Broward County Agency of the Year Award, and received the 2003 Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association’s Best Treatment Practice Award.