Children's association honors four from area
Arizona's Children Association honored Carl Brown, Jeri Ann Kooiman and Ken and Jackie Kimsey on Saturday night during their Celebrate! Gala at the Prescott Resort. They inducted the four into the Circle of Champions in recognition of their efforts to help children.
Ken and Jackie Kimsey have been involved with Court Appointed Special Advocates since 2000. They have worked countless hours to ensure that the children they represent get the services they need. Currently they are spearheading a project at Prescott United Methodist Church furnishing two rooms where parents can have supervised visits with their children who are in the Child Protective Services program. They also volunteer at The Rock, across from Prescott High School, a place where teens can socialize and enjoy snacks at noon and after school and other activities.
Carl E. Brown is the founding director of Youth Count, a position he recently retired from after nine years. Youth Count started Youth Volunteer Corps, and Teen Maze, which shows youths the consequences of bad decisions. He also played a primary role in creating the Boys and Girls Club of Central Yavapai and helped raise money to establish MATForce, a countywide coalition on substance abuse. He is now the chair of the Yavapai Community Foundation Board and was instrumental in putting together a coalition of contributors to match Robert Woods Johnson Local Initiative Funding Program money for the Community Health Center's project to serve the mental health needs of the uninsured.
Jeri Ann Kooiman is a local Realtor who started the "Hands Off Our Children" program after meeting a man whose niece had been kidnapped and murdered. Hands Off Our Children is an awareness program to teach communication skills to parents and children so that they all can openly discuss the importance of being aware of their surroundings at all times. Kooiman answers invitations to speak at churches, mothers' groups, school assemblies and neighborhood watch events to reach as many children as possible with her messages and to keep them safe from predators.