14 November, 2023
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
DoubleTree Hotel Little Rock
424 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72201

2023 Friends of Children Annual Luncheon

In 1977, a group of 10 concerned Arkansans founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), believing that children needed an independent voice to speak up for their interests.

In that spirit, AACF invites you to join us for our Friends of Children Annual Luncheon on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, where we’ll celebrate the power of advocacy in improving the lives of children and families across our state.

AACF’s legislative advocacy and policy recommendations have helped to create enduring social change in our communities. With your support, we will continue to bring to policymakers, the press, and the public our deep experience, solid research, reliable data, and clear, incisive analysis – moving our state toward a vision you share, an Arkansas where all can thrive.

The Friend of Children Award is given to honor those who have made advocating for improving the lives of children and families, especially our most vulnerable children and families, central to their life’s work. This year we are privileged to honor the following individuals for their important work on behalf of our state’s children and families:

  • Jay Barth, Ph.D.
  • Christie Erwin
  • Senator Bill Lewellen (1951-2023), with a special posthumous tribute

Read about our honorees here.

Sponsorship and ticket sales help us promote better public policy to improve the lives of Arkansans. Your investment makes a significant impact as we respond to new and emerging policy changes. Your support of our mission helps to make our state an even better place to be a child.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Fran Carter at 501-454-5014 or by email: fcarter@aradvocates.org.  We appreciate your consideration and look forward to having you with us on Tuesday, November 14!

We Thank Our Sponsors

All of us at AACF would like to thank the following “friends of children” for their support of our luncheon! Thank you all for helping us to recognize our honorees for their decades of work on behalf of Arkansas’s children. Find out about sponsorship benefits here.

To join this list of generous sponsors and friends, please contact Fran Carter at at 501-476-3477 or email fcarter@aradvocates.org.

Presenting Sponsor

Entergy Arkansas

Champion Sponsors

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Arkansas Hospital Association

Barbara Miles and Hank Bates

Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy

Southern Bancorp

Gary and Becky Wheeler

Friend of Children Sponsors

Arkansas Children’s

Arkansas Community Foundation

Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care

Arkansas Minority Health Commission

Arvest Bank

AT&T Arkansas


CareSource PASSE

Lynn and Joel Carver, in honor of Laura Kellams and the NWA Office 15th Anniversary


First Security Bank

Hendrix College

Legacy Termite and Pest Control, Inc.

McMath Woods P.A.

Project Zero

Simmons Bank

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Table Sponsors

City of Marianna

Jay Barth and Chuck Cliett

Democratic Party of Arkansas

Nikki Edge

Representative Denise Garner

Human Rights Campaign – Arkansas

Jefferson Comprehensive Care System, Inc.

Representative Wilhelmina Lewellen

Chad Rodgers and Eric McDaniel

Senator Clarke Tucker


Law Office of Danyelle Walker