For the Children: A “Heroic” Turnout for Oklahoma Children

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

August 14, 2017

***Editors Note: Mr. Dorman was the 2014 Democratic Candidate for Oklahoma Governor.  He is a guest contributor for the State Crier with his weekly column “For the Children.” Mr. Dorman also serves as CEO of Institute Child Advocacy, a Oklahoma Non-Profit group focusing on Child Advocacy. The StateCrier thanks Mr. Dorman for his continued contributions.  ***

(Oklahoma City, OK) I am happy to report the Heroes Ball, the first gala held by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) in almost a decade, was a huge success.  The 400 attendees — many wearing super-hero themed outfits — were treated to a wonderful presentation by Dr. Deena Fisher regarding the history of Kate Barnard, the first Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for the state of Oklahoma who was elected in 1907.  We also heard remarks from Steven Novick, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the Terry D. Lawsuit, the court case which created OICA, along with comments from Laura Choate, one of our board members and an original plaintiff in that case.

The recipients of the Anne Roberts People’s Choice Awards were a pleasure to unveil.  The individual award went to Brenda Lene, an Edmond woman who created on online list for teachers to post their needs for the classroom.  The Facebook page, Oklahoma Education Needs/Donations, allows teachers and donors to connect on items necessary for their classroom duties.

Our second People’s Choice Award, given to a group or organization, went to Whiz Kids Oklahoma, a program operating in Oklahoma City that improves reading skills and comprehension while fostering mentoring relationships between kids and adults.

OICA Operations Director Lori Mayhue (right) and husband John Mayhue (left) join three costumed Heroes Ball attendees

The other awards presented helped celebrate the work of many caring individuals and organizations.  Melvin and Jasmine Moran received the Kate Barnard Award, sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation, for her continued service to the children of Oklahoma.  Pastor Craig and Amy Groeschel of Life.Church were honored with the Sonic Commitment Award for their successful push to recruit foster and adopted parents. The Steven Novick Award went to KFOR, KSWO and KTUL, three Oklahoma television stations, for running segments on the Adopt OK Kids program, which helps kids in foster care who qualify for adoption to find loving, permanent homes.

In addition, OICA announced a new award which we will give to kids in Oklahoma whose work helps other children in-need. The new award, called the “Kidizenship Award,” will recognize five young Oklahomans under the age of 18 who have dedicated their time and hard work to a program which they have either created or taken to a new level to benefit others.  Watch for further details on how you can submit your nomination for a deserving Oklahoma youth, as well as submit nominations for the Laura Choate Resilience Award.  Both award winners will be named at our KIDS COUNT Fall Forum on November 2nd at the State Capitol.

Proceeds for the Kidizenship Award will come from our upcoming Political Hacks Chili Cookoff, a program which OICA recently took over to help keep this great tradition going.  The nonpartisan cookoff, which has existed for almost 40 years, brings together elected officials, campaign staffers, activists, and folks who actively participate in their government for a fun day of chili, music and camaraderie.  The event will be held September 30th in Oklahoma City, so check our website for how you can enter your pot of chili or come meet some of our elected officials.

Thank you to all who helped make the Heroes Ball a huge success, and I hope you will be able to join us next year!



About Joe Dorman 4 Articles
A committed public servant for almost 20 years, Rep. Joe Dorman has dedicated his career to making life better for all Oklahomans. His love for service began at an early age with the lessons of his parents, Bill and Jan Dorman. Their example led him to know without a doubt that serving others is the highest calling. Joe began his service to the State of Oklahoma as a mail clerk, then working his way up to an executive staff member at the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Since 2003, Joe served as the State Representative for his friends and neighbors in Rush Springs and Grady, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton and Stephens counties. While in the legislature, Rep. Dorman has been known as a common sense legislator willing to work across party lines to help his fellow Oklahomans. In fact, those efforts earned him praise from an editorial in the The Oklahoman acknowledging, “Dorman has repeatedly demonstrated why he’s among the best and brightest, not just in his own political party but among all lawmakers.” This unique ability to lead by example, to find workable solutions for the hard-working people of Oklahoma established him as a true public servant. Whether it’s fighting for education, sound fiscal policy, worker’s rights, better treatment of our seniors or the safety of our schoolchildren, Joe has time and again demonstrated a devotion to service. He is proud to place the needs of all Oklahomans over politics. A proud Oklahoman, Joe remains close to his roots and the community that formed his strong love for this great state. A graduate of Rush Springs High School, Joe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma State University in 1994. Joe currently is a guest contributor for the State Crier with his weekly column “For the Children.” Joe also serves as CEO of Institute Child Advocacy, a Oklahoma Non-Profit group focusing on Child Advocacy. Politically, Joe serves as a City Counselor for his hometown of Rush Springs, Oklahoma. Please follow him on Twitter @JoeD4OK His email is