A story unfolds...
In 1989, Ann Hamilton’s life changed forever … and so did the lives of nearly a thousand children in the Highlands County area.
A local story about an innocent toddler killed by his abusive father affected Ann so much she attended the little boy’s funeral. Standing by his grave, she vowed to do her part to help abused children.
Ann soon contacted Children's Home Society of Florida and spoke with local board members and philanthropists, including Elinor Griffin, about the need for more emergency shelters in the Sebring area. Armed with a grand jury report and a commitment to children, Ann got to work.
She dreamt big — and she wasn’t alone. Together with local volunteers, such as Ken Grubb, Pam Kirouac, Emmett Andrews and Debbie Kendrick, Ann traveled the state speaking about the grave need for a new emergency shelter. Community supporters stepped up to help Children's Home Society of Florida raise the funds needed to open a safe haven for Highlands County’s abused, abandoned and neglected children.
Ann saw her dream become a reality September 27, 1994, when Children's Home Society of Florida officially opened Hansen House, named in honor of Xenen and Marilyn Hansen, who raised the final $250,000. Initially a crisis and emergency shelter, Hansen House responded to the changing needs over the years, eventually evolving into a residential home for teen girls who can't live safely at home.
Ann’s legacy is far from over. She's a fervent advocate for necessary renovations to Hansen House and speaks publicly about the need for the community to once again come together for the benefit of the teen girls whose lives have been — and will be — forever changed by Hansen House.