Deerfield Beach, Fla.- Broward County child advocate Fran Payne has been selected as the first recipient of The Jim Moran Foundation Award for lifetime achievement and community service. The announcement was made today by Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation (The Foundation). The award ceremony will be held at The Foundation's offices on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2003 at noon.
Payne, executive director of Jack & Jill Children's Center in Fort Lauderdale, will receive the award, an engraved bronze sculpture of a child, from namesake automotive industry legend and philanthropist Jim Moran. He will also present her with a $25,000 grant that Payne has designated to Jack & Jill. On Dec. 4, Payne also will be honored at a celebratory cruise aboard JM Family Enterprises, Inc.'s Gallant Lady for her family and friends and the Jack & Jill Children's Center staff and Board of Directors.
"I've known Fran for a long time," said Jim Moran, founder of the Jim Moran Foundation and honorary chairman of diversified automotive company JM Family Enterprises, Inc. "She loves the kids and families she serves and works hard on their behalf. Jan and I admire her dedication and energy and hope that through this award, others are inspired to follow her lead to make our community a better place."
"I am overwhelmed by this honor," said Payne. "To be the first recipient of an award named in honor of a man I truly admire and respect for his remarkable business achievements, leadership and philanthropy has humbled me. I wish to thank Jim and Jan and The Foundation for their extreme generosity and everyone at Jack & Jill for their support."
Payne, 70, has been executive director of Jack & Jill since 1969. Under her leadership, Fort Lauderdale's oldest day-care center, which recently moved to a new, two-story building on Broward Blvd., offers important services that provides child care to more than 160 of Broward County's poorest families. The new facility offers an emergency food bank, clothing bank, medical fund, emergency fund, family library and more.
Jack & Jill Children's Center strives to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families through the provision of year-round childcare for children ages six weeks to five years as well as a range of support services for their entire family. The goal is to give predominantly single, working parents who are living at or near poverty the peace of mind that their children are nurtured and educated so they are free to obtain and keep employment. This is their first step out of poverty and toward financial independence. In addition to childcare for 170 children, Jack & Jill provides an emergency food bank when food is scarce, clothing bank, medical fund, education and training programs, and emergency funds to help families in times of need. Since its inception in 1942, Jack & Jill has served more than 12,000 children and their families.