The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) recently received two prestigious awards—one statewide, and the second local—recognizing its decade-long efforts to boost the health of the area’s children and youth.
They included the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA) Leading Light Award and the Dr. P. Phillips Champion of Youth Award presented by the Central Florida YMCA.
Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) nominated WPHF for the Leading Light Award which recognizes “shining lights” in the community in support of kindergarten through 12th grade public education.
This annual state award was developed by SUNSPRA in 2003. Past award recipients include Former First Lady Columba Bush, Walt Disney World Executive Al Weiss, Comcast, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and the City of Delray Beach Eagle Nest.
In making the award, SUNSPRA noted that WPHF has for years worked closely with OCPS and its schools in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville, developing and launching free school-based health and wellness programs designed to help students become the healthiest and most academically productive possible.
The programs—all part of the Coordinated Youth Initiative—serve Winter Park High School and its 11 elementary and middle feeder schools, and reach more than 12,000 students and their families. WPHS has invested nearly $11 million in the programs since 2000.
The Dr. P. Phillips Champion of Youth Award was announced and presented to Patty Maddox, WPHF President & CEO, at the YMCA’s Annual Donor Appreciation Event held during the 22nd Annual Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art.
During the recognition ceremony, Central Florida YMCA President & CEO Jim Ferber explained that each year the award is given to individuals or organizations “who demonstrate an unyielding commitment to improving children’s lives in Central Florida.” He cited the Foundation’s decade-long leadership for and financial support of school-based health services, efforts to help address the childhood obesity epidemic, and staff leadership related to improving the health of children and youth in our area.
“Since opening the Winter Park Memorial Hospital in the 1950s, the WPHF has fostered the health of the young—and young at heart—across the Winter Park and Oviedo communities,” states the program announcing the award. “They are an active voice in community health policy, a pioneer of programs that bolster child fitness and a proponent of quality health care for area adults and seniors.”
Their passion inspires us all,” it continues. “We are both humbled and grateful for the dedication and generosity of this tremendous organization.”