Honors Day

2016 HD Emmaimage

SAVE THE DATE: Honors Day 2017 is scheduled for Friday, September 29 at the Holiday Inn, University of Memphis. Doors will open at 8:15 AM; the program starts at 9:00 AM.

Every year at Honors Day, we gather to recognize those who are dedicated to child safety and well being. On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center honored our heroes: committed professionals, dedicated volunteers, and community advocates who take action to safeguard the most vulnerable children in our community.

At Honors Day, we recognize the commitment of the Shelby County Child Protection Investigation Team (CPIT), which is headquartered at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. CPIT is 15 agencies strong and provides a best practice team response to reported child sexual and other severe abuse. We also honored people in the community, outside of CPIT, that have helped us in our mission to protect children.

All adults have a call of duty when it comes to child safety. At Honors Day 2016, we presented four awards to highlight a few who have clearly gone above and beyond that call.


The James G. Hughes CPIT Excellence Award for Compassion honors a member of the Shelby County Child Protection Investigation Team (CPIT) who has demonstrated exceptional compassion to children and their families. The winner of the Compassion award was Patricia Lewis, forensic interview program manager with the Memphis CAC.


The James G. Hughes CPIT Excellence Award for Teamwork recognizes those whose performance demonstrates commitment to exceptional professionalism and team collaboration. The winners of the Teamwork Award (it was a tie) were Kim Patterson with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and Lt. Darlene Smith with the Memphis Police Department Child Abuse Squad.


The James G. Hughes Community Advocate Award honors a community member whose efforts in Shelby County demonstrate commitment to the protection of children. This year’s Community Advocate Award went to the United Way of the Mid-South.


The Nediva Award honors a volunteer who has made invaluable contributions toward the Center’s mission. Nediva is a Hebrew name meaning noble and generous and is the origin of the word volunteer. Murray Riss is this year’s recipient for the Nediva Award. Murray is longtime co-chair and contributing artist for our Works of Heart valentine auction. He also served on our board of directors.

The late Dr. James G. Hughes was a pioneer in child abuse prevention and intervention. He founded Le Bonheur Children in Crisis, was a founding member of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center board of directors, and was a lifelong advocate for children.

Our 2016 Honors Day celebration featured guest speaker Carrie Shelton Bush, Assistant District Attorney. “The Sax Lady” Crystal Brown inpired us with her beautiful sax playing.

For photos of the event, visit our Facebook page.