Champion of Children Award Dinner

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
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.”

David Ambroz
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, 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:

Pioneer Natural Resources / Fran and Mark Berg

Cynt and Kenneth Marshall

Jackson Walker LLP / Retta A. Miller

Double Eagle
Stephanie and David Krahe
Becky and Jim Lozier
Deborah Ackerman and John Lozier
Linda and Rob Swartz

Crest Auto Group / Jana and Mike Brosin
Goldman Sachs
Helmerich & Payne, Inc.
The Hirsch Family Foundation
The Hoglund Foundation

Priscilla and Corey Anthony
The Brown Family
Barbara and Ben Cervin / Margaret Cervin
Kimberly and Joe Colonnetta
Dallas Mavericks
Jacqueline and Brad Hubbard
Kathleen and Michael LaValle
Shirley and Bill McIntyre
Paula and Scott Orr
Bill Smith
Megan and Tom Sterquell
Wales Family Foundation
Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation

Christine and Jonathan Bassham
Children’s Health
Beth and Ed Cholerton
Debby and Hugh Comer
Cindy Feld
IOG Resources
James Avery Artisan Jewelry
Kappa Alpha Theta Dallas Alumnae
Locke Lord LLP
Hannah and Greg May
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Tom O’Connell
Stephen B.L. Penrose
Gina and Randall Porter
Prosperity Bank
Helen and Frank Risch
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Nicki and Paul Stafford
Judy Steiner

This is a photo of the Champion of Children silver logo

Champion of Children past honorees:

2020 Dallas CASA Classic hosts, Goldman Sachs,
Pioneer Natural Resources and AT&T
2009 The Hon. Harriet O’Neill
2019 Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki 2008 The Hoglund Foundation
2018 The Meadows Foundation 2006 Archon Group, L.P.
2017 Junior League of Dallas 2005 Todd Wagner
2016 NorthPark Center 2004 The Hon. Thomas R. Phillips
2015 AT&T and its employees 2003 The Hon. Harold Barefoot Sanders
2014 Pioneer Natural Resources and its employees 2002 J. McDonald “Don” Williams
2013 Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones 2001 Tom Luce
2012 ExxonMobil and its employees and retirees 2000 Paul Coggins
2011 Southwest Airlines 1999 The Hon. Florence Shapiro
2010 Nancy A. Nasher  1998 The Hon. Lee F. Jackson