Space Coast Public Service Awards Recognizes Mary Ann Sterling With Lifetime Achievement Award
By BCSO Chief Deputy Doug Waller // September 19, 2016
SPACE COAST PSA HALL OF FAME NOMINEE
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In every community there are great men and women who have, by their strength of will and character, become ingrained in the consciousness of our society. They are doers and risk takers who have made a stand and a commitment for the common-good. They are labeled as public servants, but they are truly our natural leaders whose legacies are the milestones of our progress.
The Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes public service professionals who have dedicated years of service during a distinguished career where they significantly advanced the public safety or service profession, and by substantial service, has furthered the cause of justice and the mission of community service.
The award is presented to a deserving individual (living or deceased) who has taken a long-term leadership role in a public or community service profession. Recipients of this award are recognized for making extraordinary contributions and sacrifices through a body of work that positively impacted their organization and community over their lifetime.
GRANDPARENTS RAISING GRANDCHILDREN FOUNDER
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In 1994, Mary Ann Sterling saw what was broken and knew the she could really make a difference when she started Grandparents Raising Grandchildren of Brevard, which focuses on advocacy for relative caregivers and their families.
Determined that she was the “somebody” that was needed to help create a solution to this challenge and set out on an ambitious goal of bridging the gap between the more than 8,500 children living in relative care families and nonprofits dedicated to helping children and families.
Every day the safety and well-being of children across Brevard County are threatened by child abuse and neglect. Relative care is a consequence of family breakdown.
Sterling has a goal of improving vulnerable families and fighting to ensure that low-income children don’t have their destiny determined by where they live. And that helps everyone to focus on the child – not on their own role or limitations.
She strives to utilize every available “pulpit” in her efforts to raise awareness about this issue. She has presented programs about relative care to the Brevard County School Board, local businesses, and various social groups and clubs.
Sterling has presented information to the state judiciary government officials in Tallahassee on the plight of relative caregivers and their families. She attended the Grandparent’s Day celebration at the White House.
In addition, somehow, she also finds time to serve as an active community member volunteering at many community fundraisers and events.
Because of these efforts, Sterling has earned not only the American Red Cross Stars of the Space Coast Award, but also the respect and gratitude of those for whom and with whom she serves, and her peers here at GRG of Brevard.
Now, at the age of 81, she continues to advocate for support to children and youth in the context of their families, and remains a sought after person for her unique perspective.
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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Space Coast Daily is very proud to sponsor and produce the first annual Space Coast Public Service Awards and Hall of Fame Induction, which will be held Saturday, September 24 at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne. With all the seemingly endless politically-charged negative rhetoric in the media aimed at our first responders, we felt it was time as a media entity to make a statement and give these men and women the respect and support they deserve. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this compelling event where all proceeds will benefit the Brevard County Public Safety Charity.
Seating for this celebration of these outstanding public servants is now available, so don’t delay in making your reservation. The festivities will include a meet-and-greet with our outstanding public servants, food and drink, and the induction proceeding – which will feature compelling video tributes.
All proceeds of this event will go to the Brevard County Public Safety Charity which benefits our law enforcement officers and firefighters in their time of need. These funds will help our public safety members when they face critical challenges such as medical emergencies, long term illness or even the tragedy of a line of duty death. This charity organization is designed to help protect those that protect us.
For additional information about the Brevard County Public Safety Charity, please contact Sue Parker at Sue.Parker@BCSO.us.
– Tom Palermo, Space Coast Daily President & Publisher
FOR MORE INFORMATION about the Space Coast Public Service Awards and Hall of Fame Induction, call 321-615-8111 or 321-323-4460.