The theme was “Together – Accomplishing More.” As anticipated, attendance was smaller than usual, with 48 participants in the conference representing 13 member agencies in addition to a few non-member agencies. The Catherine Hershey Awards Luncheon was enjoyed by many and those in attendance were welcomed and blessed as Gary Urwiler, Executive Director of Mooseheart, shared that for the past 26 years he has had the privilege of working at Mooseheart. Gary’s first experience with Mooseheart started many years earlier during his childhood, following the untimely death of his father. The next speaker at the luncheon was Ododo Walsh, Senior Director of Home Life and Student Leadership at Milton Hershey School. She is a young woman who is poised, articulate, passionate, and the epitome of professionalism in all that she does. She now works at the agency that provided a lifeline to her and her brother during their childhood. Thaddeus Bullard (aka – Titus O’Neil), Alumni of Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches then told about his troubled childhood and his admittance to Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches at the age of twelve. Initially he kept getting into trouble for fighting, but over time all the positive messaging from the adults there helped him reach a turning point. Today, Thaddeus is paying it forward. He is proclaiming the “no bad kid” message and has written a book bearing the same title. He is making a tangible difference by providing opportunities, resources, and encouragement to kids in hard places.
We you’ll make plans to attend the 2022 CORE National Conference!