Samantha Gholar/News-Sun Pamela Karlson speaks to a crowded room at Grace Bible Church Thursday evening after being named the recipient of the 2013 Champion for Children award as Champion CEO Kevin Roberts (right) looks on.
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published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Karlson named 2013 Champion for Children
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Pamela Karlson stood in disbelief Thursday night on the stage of the Grace Bible Church sanctuary after being named the 2013 Champion for Children award winner.
Karlson, who is an attorney, has managed to still find the time over the past 27 years to advocate and help local children.
A busy volunteer, Karlson has helped out in numerous events and organizations throughout Highlands County, including the Youth Development Council, the Take Stock in Children program and Ag Venture as well as supervising law internships.
Karlson has also found time in her busy schedule to spread the gospel of Christ through her many mission trips in the Caribbean islands.
After being named this year's Champion for Children a nearly speechless Karlson beamed with happiness as she spoke to friends, family and supporters.
"I don't know what I feel ... wow," said Karlson. "I can't believe I was chosen. Out of all these amazing individuals here, they are all so great."
Karlson was chosen by a committee the night of the gala. The five other finalists -- Charlene Edwards, Sandi Whidden, (spouses) Chris and Tanya Taylor and John Varady -- all offered congratulations to Karlson following her award.
The "Color My World" gala theme featured musical entertainment by Heartland Idol third place winner Cammie Lester and the Sebring Middle School chorus.
Champion for Children CEO Kevin Roberts excitedly thanked the hundreds of guests for the continued support of the foundation since its inception in 1994.
Foundation Executive Director Jeffrey Roth called Roberts "the oak" of the foundation, stating his hard work, dedication and passion for caring for local children are the roots of the organization and keep everything and everyone grounded.
Karlson is the 14th recipient of the coveted Champion for Children award. Karlson said that her faith continues to push her to lend a helping hand and encouraged others to do all they can to support, nurture and help the youth in this and any community.
The event was sponsored by dozens of individuals, couples and businesses in the community. The 14th annual Champion for Children Gala's premier sponsor was Highlands Regional Medical Center.
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