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Families and family advocate honored at 2019 Salute to Families

The Heartland Family Service (HFS) Salute to Families recognition program was held on Thursday, November 21 at Happy Hollow Club from 6 – 9 p.m., with 210 people in attendance. WOWT News Anchor John Knicely served as the emcee.

For 35 years, HFS has been hosting this event to highlight strong families and individuals in the community who place a high priority on building and strengthening their bonds, while encouraging individual growth.

The 2019 Salute to Families honorees were:
Leadership Family — Tonia & Ray Aranza
Challenged & Successful Family — Grace & Nicole Burns
Commitment to Family — Kate Mahern & Gary Fischer
Community Service Family — Melissa & Matthew Graves
Family Advocate — Diane Cochran

The Salute to Families recognition program began in 1982 when Heartland Family Service recognized one family in the community. This has grown to today’s practice of honoring four families and one family advocate. Honorees are nominated by their friends, neighbors, or colleagues. This year’s General Chair for the Salute to Families Steering Committee was Connie Kinnear, and Melissa Steffes was the Selections Chair.

Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has responded to the needs of our area’s most vulnerable children and families.
In 2018, the agency connected with over 54,000 individuals and families through direct services, education, and outreach. Each year, our programs serve individuals of all ages — from infants in our Family Works program to seniors in our Generations Community Center. We operate from over 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. We provide critical human services to the individuals and families who ultimately shape the future of our community through the following program areas: Child & Family Well-Being, Counseling & Prevention, and Housing, Safety, & Financial Stability.