Madison County's 2009 Friends of Children announced

The Mid-York Child Care Coordinating Council announced its 2009 Friends of Children award winners at an awards dinner on June 2 at the Roselawn Restaurant, New York Mills.

The Friends of Children awards recognize individual childcare professionals in all modalities of New York State regulated childcare, who displays outstanding service and dedication to the children in their care. An additional category recognizes community members, community agencies and youth who demonstrate their support of children through action, word or deed.

Madison County awardees are:

Melissa Pratt McDonnell, a group family child care provider in Chittenango. According to her nominators, McDonnell is credited as "providing understanding and structure to challenging children and going beyond what other child care providers would tolerate, with patience and compassion."

Mike Fitzgerald, commissioner of Madison County Department of Social Services, was recognized for being a "true advocate of families and children." His nominator felt that Fitzgerald "promotes and understanding that an investment in children now will pay off in a better tomorrow.

Erika Mumford, a member of the Oneida Area Day Care Center board of directors, was recognized for being "100 percent dedicated to her role as treasurer and fundraiser at Oneida Area Day Care Center" despite juggling responsibilities to her family, full-time job and graduate studies.

The annual Friends of Children awards were created by the Child Care Council in 2004 to honor individuals, agencies and employers who impact the lives of children and their families. This year, 52 nominations were received for Friends of Children awards.

For more information on the event or on our 2009 honorees, contact the Child Care Council at 223-7850.

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