VIDEO: Dr. Robert E. Lehton Honored By Florida Network of Youth and Family Services

By  //  July 31, 2017

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honoring his over 43 years of service

LEFT TO RIGHT: Wansley Walters, former Secretary of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice; Dr. Robert E. Lehton; Stacy Gromatski, Florida Network President; Chris Dudley, Florida Network Immediate Past Board Chairman

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, at its 40th Anniversary Celebration this summer, presented the Chairman’s Leadership Award to Dr. Robert E. Lehton, Crosswinds Board member, honoring his over 43 years of service in bettering the lives of at-risk youth.

The Florida Network of Youth and Family Services is a not-for profit statewide association representing 29 agencies that serve homeless, runaway and troubled youth ages six and older and their families.

For more than 40 years, the Florida Network has provided services as a “Children’s and Families in Need of Services” agency, as defined by Florida Statute, in order to prevent juvenile delinquency and encourage good choices and healthy family relationships.

Dr. Lehton was honored as a Central Florida Humanitarian in 2011, and the following tribute was featured in Space Coast Daily magazine:

Dr. Robert E. Lehton’s career and humanitarian work might appear diverse, but each part shares a main component in his eyes: keeping people out of confinement and spiritual death and pointing them to spiritual life.

The seeds of his life mission were planted early, when he was ordained as a minister at the age of 19. Likely because of his youth, he began working with teens and saw many of them imprisoned either by choice or by the justice system.

“I saw the problems with drug abuse, and with people getting involved in the court system,” Lehton said.

Once young people entered the justice system, he observed, they never seemed able to break free. His goal became to help them avoid the system in the first place and in 1971, he helped start the first runaway center in Louisiana.

ABOVE VIDEO:  The Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, at its 40th Anniversary Celebration this summer, presented the Chairman’s Leadership Award to Dr. Robert E. Lehton, Crosswinds Board member, honoring his over 43 years of service in bettering the lives of at-risk youth. In the above video, Dr. Lehton was honored as a Central Florida Humanitarian in 2011 with this tribute video.

After moving to the Central Florida area in 1973 to start his psychology practice, he saw the same needs locally.

Lehton was a founding force in Crosswinds Youth Services, a Cocoa, Florida-based organization that today includes an emergency shelter for youth and provides delinquency diversion, transitional living, life skills and services.

Lehton has served in various positions on the board for the past 38 years. He and his wife, Bunny, started a foundation in memory of their daughter, Amy, who passed away in 1994. The couple hopes the money eventually will fund higher education scholarships for youth served by Crosswinds.

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The Cocoa Beach clinical psychologist also helped start Servant Air Ministries Inc., a non-profit Christian ministry that provides air transportation to help people in need and to advance the gospel. The organization recently delivered water purification systems to Hurricane Irene victims on Cat Island in the Bahamas.

No matter what the skill he’s evaluating, he asks one question: “I try to do unto God. It might sound corny, but that’s who I am,” said Lehton, Ph.D., who has worked with Family & Pediatric Clinic since 1980.

A self-proclaimed overachiever, Lehton pursued his pilot’s license and answered his own question by using it to help transport ill people, provide disaster relief and train others to do the same.

Lehton maintains a high level of involvement in various charitable boards, including several organizations that support the nation of Israel.

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