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The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) recently presented State Representative Jeff Grisamore, Lee’s Summit, with the 2009 Laurie Donovan Award for his commitment and service to Missouri’s children in developing public policy and advocating for children and families.

Established in 2000 by the CTF Board of Directors, the Donovan Award is given annually to one current or retired elected official who has provided leadership in the area of child abuse prevention, family support and overall concern and advocacy for children and family issues.  CTF Board member Dr. Regina Staves and CTF Executive Director Kirk Schreiber presented the award to Rep. Grisamore at the Children’s Services Commission meeting, December 7.

Grisamore was elected to the MO House of Representatives in November 2006 and represents District 47 encompassing part of Jackson County, including the cities of Lee’s Summit and Greenwood.  He serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business and is a member of the Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health and Social Services; the Special Standing Committee on Children and Families; and the Special Standing Committee on Urban Issues.  He was appointed to the Missouri Children’s Services Commission in January 2007 and currently serves as Chair.  He also serves on the Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders charged with formulating a bill that will address the issue of health insurance coverage for children with autism spectrum disorders.

His priority legislation affecting children includes creating the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders, protecting children from Internet sex crimes, promoting increases in foster care and adoption reimbursement rates, supporting the rights of children with special needs, and strengthening the childcare safety registry.

Prior to serving in the House, Rep. Grisamore served as President of Children of Promise International and is the founder of the Alliance for Orphans. He continues to advocate for at risk and vulnerable children both in state and worldwide through both his public service as a State Representative and his public charitable work.  He resides in Lee’s Summit with his wife, Mary, and their 10 children.

The award is named after former Missouri House Representative, children’s advocate and CTF Board member Laurie Donovan for her efforts to support children and families while serving in the General Assembly from 1983 until 1998.  Previous award recipients include Representative Donovan, Senator Betty Sims, Senator Harold Caskey, Senator Patrick Dougherty, Senator Roseann Bentley, Representative Rachel Storch, and Governor Mel Carnahan (posthumously).