CONNIE REYES AWARD

Nancy Morey receives the fifth annual Connie Reyes Award at the Kenosha County Job Center during a ceremony on Wednesday.

It might be difficult to quantify the number, but it’s fair to say a number of children’s and families’ lives in the greater Kenosha area have been enriched because of Nancy Morey.

This was the sentiment shared Wednesday as the Kenosha County Turn the Town Blue Committee held its annual Connie Reyes Award ceremony amid a series of events raising the importance of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.

Morey serves as president of the Prevention Services Network Family Resource Center under the county’s auspices.

Twenty-five years ago, Morey began the first steps in assembling PSN, which has served as a resource platform for prevention, education, support and networking — all in the name of strengthening families and ensuring children enjoy the healthiest, most enriching lives possible. Wednesday, she was rewarded for her impact on the community with this year’s Connie Reyes Award.

Upon accepting the award, Morey shared a few brief comments with the audience of about 100 attendees, who were assembled in a commons area at the Kenosha County Job Center.

Morey said the collaborative spirit within PSN and throughout the community has been an important part of growing the resources needed to ensure children and families receive critical assistance as needed.

“We all know it’s about the children and keeping them strong,” Morey said. “I appreciate this so much. Thank you all very much.”

The committee’s annual award is named in honor of Reyes, a Kenosha County social worker who was murdered in 1990 in connection with her work. Honorees such as Morey are credited with continuing in Reyes’ footsteps, promoting excellence in child abuse and neglect prevention.

Honorees of the Reyes award are recognized through a nomination process. Committee members noted some of the comments nominators gave to Morey. She was cited in the paperwork for holding steadfast to her mission, demonstrating strong leadership and working selflessly.

County Executive Jim Kreuser was unable to attend the ceremony, but did issue a proclamation. In it, Kreuser called on everyone — including medical providers and the faith community — to work in tandem and strive toward eradicating child abuse.

Also on hand at the ceremony was Emilie Amundson, state Department of Children and Families secretary.

She said the state’s child welfare crisis is one of her top priorities, alongside the opioid epidemic.

In her address to the group, she said there are corners of the state that lack adequate resources for support services benefiting the youngest members of the population.

“Increasing access to quality childcare — it’s a critical issue,” she said.

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