About the Joseph Drown Award for Outstanding Services to Children

Joseph Drown was a businessman and hotel owner, including the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles.  He became interested in the work of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, California Chapter (AFCC-CA), in the early 1980’s after lengthy conversations with Jeanne Ames, the original and longtime historian of AFCC-CA, who shared with him the mission, vision and values of this organization.

Joseph Drown was impressed and reflected on how he handled his divorce and parental responsibilities.  He stated he wished that AFCC had been there to help him understand the experience for children and the needs of children going through this difficult time in their lives.  Over time Mr. Drown gave $20,000, in $10,000 increments, which aided in offering educational programs and training institutes to court-connected personnel, community mental health professionals, family law attorneys, researchers, etc.

This award, typically rotated between Northern and Southern California, has been given to acknowledge persons or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the betterment of children’s welfare. (The award is given most, but not every, year.)

Recipients of the Drown Award in recent years:

  • The Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law (2019)
  • Commissioner Marjorie Slabach (2018)
  • George Ferrick (2016)
  • Glen H. Schwartz (2015)
  • Leslie Ellen Shear (2014)
  • Matthew Sullivan (2012)
  • Maxine Baker-Jackson (2011)
  • Honorable Robert Schnider (2010)
  • Isabella Grant (2009)
  • Isolina Ricci (2008)
  • Janet Johnston (2007)
  • Sherrie Kibler-Sanchez (2006)
  • Ernest Sanchez (2006)

Other Award Recipients in years prior to 2006, not in any order:

  • Jeanne T. Ames
  • Murray Bloom
  • Sister Simon Campbell
  • Honorable Leonard Edwards
  • Joan Kelly
  • Honorable Justice Donald B. King
  • Hugh McIsaac
  • Elizabeth O’Neill
  • Kid’s Turn
  • Judith Wallerstein

The first Award Recipient was Dorothy S. Huntington.