News Story

2014 Family Values Awards Presented in Nova Scotia

A ceremony was recently held in Halifax to present the Family Values Awards to community leaders Tom and Rose Marie Smith, Sam and Barb Pike and Joel and Cathy Jacobson. The recipients were recognized for their outstanding contributions in defending family values and advancing standards that support and strengthen families.

Tom and Rose Marie Smith have 15 children, 12 of whom are adopted. “Our life’s journey has been a blessing, but it has created many difficulties that we have weathered and are still weathering,” said Smith. “Our fundamental values of faith, covenant and reality are fundamental to whom and what we are as a family. These three values are rooted and driven by the love we have been given. … The Spirit of God is alive and well in His creation.”

Both from large families, Sam and Barb Pike always wanted a large family of their own but just didn’t know how their family would grow. Their six children came through birth, fostering and adoption. Four girls (two sets of siblings) were all adopted on the same day. The Pikes have fostered 45 children in the past 20 years. One of their foster sons has been with them for 14 years, their other son, for five. Both have complex medical needs. The Pikes’ was the first home for medically fragile children in Nova Scotia. Barb’s nursing experience is a great asset. “This can be difficult, but we feel it is a way to give back to the community,” she said.

Both the Smiths and the Pikes acknowledge that although they are now in their older years, they would never say no to additional children. “There might be that special one that needs us.”

Joel and Cathy Jacobson are well known for their volunteer and community work. For 18 years of his career in journalism at the provincial daily newspaper, The Chronicle Herald, Joel wrote good news stories in his Bright Spot and Great Kids columns. He says his wife should be called “Saint Catherine” because of her unending care and kindness.

Nova Scotia’s attorney general, minister of justice and minister of immigration, the Honourable Lena Diab attended the event and surprised Joel and Cathy by presenting them with her official recognition of their honour. “I come from a Lebanese family of six, have four children of my own and recently became a grandmother. Family is very important to me,” she said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints champions the family in principle and in practice. The Family Values Award, which originated in 1991 and was inspired by the renewed emphasis on family issues, acknowledges community leaders who are “striving to advance standards and values that are consistent with the Church position on the family.”

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