Data & Champions Luncheon October 24, 2023
Charleston, W.Va.— WV KIDS COUNT announces its Champion of Children award recipients for The Data and Champions Luncheon on October 24, 2023. In coordination with the release of the 2023 WV KIDS COUNT Data Book, the organization will recognize community leaders who champion the child well-being domains: education, health, economic well-being, and family and community. With some very recognizable names, KIDS COUNT is honored to shed a bright light on West Virginians who lead by example.
This year’s overall Champion of Children is Todd and Becky Judy of Todd Judy Ford in Charleston. They are often seen in their commercials featuring their 11-year-old son, Killian. Todd and Becky moved to the Charleston area to open their dealerships from Fairmont in 2018. They work daily in their businesses, employing nearly 200 people. Both are intimately familiar with many of the challenges that can face children and families in West Virginia. They strongly believe that communities need to stick together and help each other out, so they have been actively involved with several dozen charities over the past several years.
Having a child of their own, the majority of the focus in raising and donating money has gone toward helping out children with support going to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WCHS Tower of Toys, Union Mission Food Drive, WV Scholar Athlete Program, Institute Fire Department Toy Drive, Trick or Beat, The Beat Backpack Attack, Charleston Dirty Birds School Supply Drive, Elk River Backpack Blessings , Marmet Elementary Robotics Team, Marshall University Kickoff/Tip-off Kid, United Way, Ford Drive 4 UR School, Riverside High School, South Charleston High School, Pelotonia, Scott Teays Elementary School Spelling Bee, and various sports/dance teams in Kanawha, Putnam, Cabell and Harrison County, and many more. They know that every little bit helps, and even a small gesture can make a big difference, so they encourage anyone who wants to make an impact to consider donating a small amount of money or time to help someone less fortunate.
The Education Champion of Children is Rania Zuri. Zuri is the founder and CEO of The LiTEArary Society, the world’s only youth-led nonprofit organization working to end book deserts for disadvantaged preschool children. To date, The LiTEArary Society has donated more than $326,000 worth of brand new books to over 28,000 disadvantaged preschool children in all 50 states. In West Virginia alone, The LiTEArary Society has donated a brand-new book to every child in Head Start in the state (6,778). Her nonprofit organization has partnerships and has received funding from Scholastic, Inc., Barnes & Noble, Hershey’s, Pilot Pens, and Starbucks. For her work in early childhood literacy and education, she has been featured on Good Morning America, Forbes, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Today Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, NPR, Fox News, Teen Vogue, and more.
This year’s Economic Well-Being Champion of Children is Dural Miller. Miller is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Keep Your Faith Corporation, Inc. Through partnerships and mission focused drive, Miller has been able to apply leadership and community support to strategies designed to meet individual and collective social needs of family and community. Since 2006, Miller and his team, volunteers, and professionals, have been able to positively impact community wellness by moving advancing school and community-based social programs developed to promote positive social and health outcomes. Miller resides in Charleston with his wife, LaRuth Miller, and their daughter, Morgan Miller.
The Health Champion of Children is Dr. Joanna Bailey. Dr. Bailey is currently the Associate Chief Medical Officer at Tug River Health Association, an FQHC with offices in McDowell, Wyoming, and Mercer Counties in West Virginia. Dr. Bailey is board certified in both family medicine and obesity medicine. She completed undergraduate and medical school at West Virginia University in Morgantown, then residency in the department of family medicine at WVU. In residency she was a “Rural Scholar” and served two years as chief resident. Upon residency graduation, Dr. Bailey joined Tug River Health Association and began practicing family medicine in her hometown of Pineville, WV at the Tug River Catterson Health carrying on the mission of her own Pediatrician Dr/Sister Eileen Catterson. Dr. Bailey was the 2017 recipient of the WV Rural Health Association’s Rural Provider of the Year Award, and in 2020, Dr. Bailey was named one of WV Living Magazines “Wonder Women.” She has served two terms as the President of the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians and serves on the board of the West Virginia Alliance for Creative Health Solutions, a grass roots practice-based research network. Her research, clinical, and advocacy interests include social determinants of health, obesity, chronic liver disease, and health professional burnout.
Our Family and Community Champion of Children is Beth Casey. Casey is the Chief Executive Officer at Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council based in Charleston. Casey grew up in Girl Scouts and has earned her Silver Award and Gold Award. She has a bachelor’s degree in industrial relations from the University of North Carolina and a certificate in non-profit management from Duke University. While she has been with Black Diamond for 15 years, she has worked for Girl Scouts for 31 years. Casey is married to Michael Casey and they have two children, Matthew and Hannah. Hannah is a 4th generation Girl Scout. Casey enjoys making jewelry, scrapbooking, and traveling to see family and friends. She is a Rotarian and is a past president of the Vandalia Rotary Club in Charleston. She is also a board member with the WV Nonprofit Association.
All Champions have a lifelong dedication to improving the well-being of children in the Mountain State and believe every child in West Virginia counts. Together, we are making West Virginia a great place to be a kid for all kids! This year, Data & Champions Luncheon is October 24, 2023, 12pm – 2:00pm. To sponsor this event or donate to support our mission, go to www.wvkidscount.org.
About WV KIDS COUNT: We are now in our 35th year of championing our vision to make West Virginia a great place to be a kid! Our mission serves us well: Providing the most trusted data about the well-being of West Virginia’s children and building alliances to advocate for what our kids need. So many incredible West Virginian’s believe in and support that mission.