Mason County News
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T. J. Schmidt Awarded for Child Welfare Work
Wednesday, November 5, 2008 • Posted November 5, 2008

TJ Schmidt was named Regional Volunteer of the year in 2007 for Region 9 of the Texas Council of Child Welfare Boards. This area extends from Midland to Mason and is one of the largest regions for the state of Texas.

Every county board had the oppurtunity to nominate a person that has gone that extra mile in helping the youth in the county. TJ’s name was submitted by our board, with a list of her contributions that she provided for individuals here in Mason. We feel very honored that the nominating committee selected her as the person to receive the award. The following was the write up on the tccwb.org web site. TJ was unable to make the event as she was caring for her grandmother at that time.

TCCWB will recognize this year’s award winners at the 2008 Awards Event, “Your Heart Completes the Puzzle,” to be held December 4, at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 3401 South IH-35, Austin. Join us in honoring those individuals and groups that have provided exceptional support to Texas children through their contributions and service.

Last year, TCCWB honored 23 individuals and groups as “Cheerleaders for Texas Children” during its annual awards ceremony September 20, 2007.

Trista Miller, a Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Youth Specialist, touched the audience with her experiences growing up in foster care and her current role as a advocate for foster youth. DFPS Commissioner Carey Cockerell and Director of Field Operations Colleen McCall provided information about renewal efforts in child protective services (CPS) and thanked the attendees for their efforts on behalf of children in CPS care.

TCCWB President Janet Parker welcomed attendees to the ceremony and Vice President and Awards Committee Co-chair DJ Tessier and Executive Director Carolyn Bivens introduced honorees and presented them with plaques.

Thanks to some very generous donors, TCCWB presented $1000 gift cards for school supplies/computer equipment to the two foster youth honorees.

Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Sen. Kyle Janek (Houston), Legislator; Cindy Vandiver (Amarillo), Outstanding CPS Staff; Burt and Nellie Searles (Flower Mound), Foster Parents; Melissa and Jacob, Foster Youth; Foster A Life (Lubbock), Organization; LCRA-Tom C. Ferguson Power Plant (Horseshoe Bay), Company; Sgt. Dennis Bensfied (Wichita Falls), Adult Individual; Macy Pulliam (Groves), Youth Individual; Candy Reagan, Abilene Families, Print Media; and KAUZ-TV (Wichita Falls), Broadcast Media. Judges Janis Yarbrough and Suzanne Schwab-Radcliffe ( Galveston ) received a Special Recognition award for their work with National Adoption Day. Kudos to the following Volunteers of the Year nominated by county boards and selected by their regional councils: 1—Renee Lambert (Childress County), 2—Edwin Draper (Wichita County), 3—Jennifer Martin, Ph.D. (Denton County), 4—Jamie Maddox (Cherokee County), 5—Linda Cox (Jefferson County), 6—Christen Maltsberger (Walker County), 7—Delbert Goins (Hill County), 8—Frances Krause (DeWitt County), and 9—Tomijo (T.J.) Schmidt (Mason County).

Our Board meets once a month from September through May. We are here to help develop programs, provide services and engage in activities that will benefit all dependent, neglected or abused children in need of protection and care in Mason, County. The board works in cooperation with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and will utilize educational, informational and legislative means to meet its goals.

With the assistance of Judge Bearden, we dug up records that indicate that the Mason CWB was started in June of 1984.

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