Honoree – Francois Reihani
Honorary Chairs – Fran and Mark Berg
Event Co-Chairs – Stephanie and David Krahe, Retta A. Miller, Megan and Tom Sterquell
Guest Speaker – David Ambroz
Dallas CASA will honor Francois Reihani with the prestigious Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award at the Champion of Children Award Dinner on October 12 at The Fairmont Dallas. The award is given annually to recognize community leaders who significantly improve the lives of youth in our community, particularly those whose lives have been marked by abuse, neglect or other adversity. The award is named for Judge Barefoot Sanders, a revered United States District Court judge for the Northern District of Texas, past award recipient and a steadfast supporter of Dallas CASA.
Francois Reihani is the founder of La La Land Kind Café. With a passion to provide foster youth aging out of the child welfare system with employment, Francois opened his first cafe on Greenville Avenue in 2019. Since then, he’s expanded quickly to 11 stores with locations in Dallas, Houston and California. Cafes are staffed by former foster youth who receive social support and mentorship, in addition to critical work experience, while normalizing kindness. Prior to opening La La Land Kind Cafe, as a 20-year old undergraduate student at SMU, Francois opened his first restaurant concept, Pōk the Raw Bar, the first poke concept in Dallas. “We dream big, and hope we can make a statement to our nation that businesses can and should be doing more. Social enterprises should lead our future, to create a better world.”
Thirty years ago, David Ambroz was a homeless, malnourished child being removed from his mentally ill mother’s custody after years of neglect and abuse. His memoir, A Place Called Home, is a gut-wrenching personal account of Ambroz’s early life of poverty and homelessness. The book is an against-all-odds success story—David made it out, went abroad, earned a life-changing scholarship to Vassar College, and went on to graduate from UCLA School of Law.
Ambroz was recognized by President Obama as an American Champion of Change. He previously led Corporate Social Responsibility for Walt Disney Television and served as president of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission as well as a California Child Welfare Council member. He co-founded FosterMore.org, an organization that brings together the entertainment industry, foundations, nonprofits and businesses to raise money for and awareness of the needs of foster children. Ambroz is a foster dad and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
To learn more about the 2023 Champion of Children Award Dinner or underwriting opportunities, please contact Becca Leonard at 469-547-9445 or email. Thank you for your generosity, continued support and for recognizing that child victims in our community need us now more than ever.
To see photos from the 2022 Champion of Children Dinner & Concert, click here.
We are grateful to our 2023 Champion of Children underwriters: