[Tallahassee, Florida] – During the March 2, 2016 Florida Cabinet meeting, Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman awarded the Champion of Service Award to Guardian ad Litem volunteer Gale Spires.
The Champion of Service Award is Florida’s only statewide volunteer recognition. The award recognizes a volunteer who demonstrates excellence in volunteerism and community service. This year the prestigious award went to GAL volunteer Gale Spires from Marion County. Gale has been with the GAL Program for three years and has advocated for 20 abused and neglected children of all ages and is currently representing seven children.
Gale goes above and beyond in her representation of children. She attends all hearings, staffings, IEP meetings at schools and meets with parents. She often spends her own resources buying educational materials, and Happy Meals so she can meet children for lunch. Gale, who also works full time, not only is a tireless advocate for children, she mentors new volunteers.
Lavetta Jacobs is the Child Advocacy Manager who nominated Gale for the Champion of Service Award. When asked about Gale’s work Lavetta said, “She is entrusted with the most challenging of cases and she works each with tireless conviction and heart. She believes that all children deserve a safe and love-filled home and she goes over and above to ensure that they have the best opportunity to live this reality. She is the most dedicated, selfless individuals I have ever known; she is a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer; a rare group of individuals who give of themselves to do good, seeking nothing in return.”
Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman said, “…Gale Spires is a tireless community servant to at-risk children through the Guardian ad Litem Program, working to ensure that they achieve their fullest potential. It is an honor to recognize these Floridians with the Champion of Service Award.”
“We are incredibly proud of all of our GAL volunteers – especially Gale Spires. She represents how hard work, determination, smart advocacy and a giving heart can change the lives of Florida’s abused, abandoned and neglected children. We applaud Gale for this well-deserved and extraordinary award” said Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Florida GAL Program.
The GAL Program is eternally grateful for Gale Spires- she is an inspiration to all who have the privilege to know her.