Children’s Guardian Fund Elects New Board President

The Children’s Guardian Fund recently elected Dr. Harold “Hal” Hedley as president of the organization that helps abused, neglected and abandoned children who now are in state custody.

Hedley, who has 40 years of experience in education and nonprofit management, had been vice-president, a position now held by Judy Sharple. Hedley received many awards recognizing his advocacy of children, including most recently the Special Olympics Sarasota County Coach of the Year in 2010.

Mark Sharff, a dedicated youth advocate who started the “Get to Work” program designed to help teens in foster care find summer jobs, was elected to the board at the same year-end meeting last month.

Hedley succeeds Jasmine Candlish, who served as president for the past two years.

New to the board in the past fiscal year are Mellisa Allen, Kimberly Hopper, and Major Connie Shingledecker.

The Children’s Guardian Fund partners with the Guardian Ad Litem program to provide resources that fill the basic needs and enrich the lives of children in foster and state care in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit. They also support the recruitment, training and retention of Guardian ad Litem child advocates, and promote public awareness and community support for the children’s needs.

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