Lauren Book, founder of Lauren’s Kids, an organization dedicated to preventing childhood sexual abuse, recently accepted the 2014 Michael Shores Citizen of the Year Award from the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club at its highly successful 35th annual Biscayne Bay Gala. The event at the Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom attracted more than 300 attendees and raised more than $100,000 for the club’s many philanthropic activities.
Past recipients of this award include Dolphins founder Joe Robbie, Coach Jimmy Johnson, broadcaster Ralph Renick, Miami Commissioner Athalie Range, U.S. Rep. William “Bill” Lehman, former Miami Herald publisher David Lawrence Jr., Baseball Hall of Fame member Andre Dawson, Richard Baron, JosephKlock Jr., Super Bowl Host Committee chair Rodney Barreto, former Miami Dolphin Nat Moore, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients Dr. Pedro Greer Jr., U.S. Rep. Dante B. Fascell, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
“It was a pleasure for us to honor Lauren this year,” said Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club president Todd Paton of Paton Marketing. “Lauren Book has done so much for the youth of South Florida, the state and the nation in her efforts to raise awareness of — and prevent — childhood sexual abuse that we wanted to to recognize her and her tireless efforts.”
The award is named for Michael Shores, one of the founders of the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club, who as a philanthropically minded attorney made numerous contributions to the Miami-Dade County community throughout his life.
Lauren’s Kids (www.laurenskids.org) educates adults and children about sexual abuse topics through an in-school curriculum, a 24-hour Crisis Hotline, and speaking engagements around the country. The organization also provides more than 6 million educational and awareness materials statewide through direct mail every year and — aided by the efforts of its chair Ron Book, a noted lobbyist — has taken proactive efforts to make Florida a safer place through advocacy for the passage of state laws that protect and help victims heal and become survivors.
“I am honored to be recognized by the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club and join such a distinctive list of recipients,” Lauren Book said. “This is a great organization which serves the most deserving children of Miami’s inner city and has for more than 60 years positively impacted the lives of thousands of those children and their families.”
The law firm of Diaz Reus was a Diamond Sponsor of the event. Gold sponsors included The South Florida Luxury Guide; Baron Breslin & Sarmiento PA; Lowry & Cook PA, and the law offices of Robertson Anschutz & Schneid.
For more information on the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club, including joining as an individual or corporation, contact Paton at 305-814-2225 or visit www.biscaynebaykiwanis.org.