Pinellas County woman recognized for work helping Bay Area children

A  local advocate for children is being honored for her commitment to helping change the lives of our youngest citizens.

Dr. Marcie Biddleman is a welcome site at Gulf Coast Jewish Families Community Services in Pinellas County.

"She has made an amazing footprint just within the community alone and she's an icon," said Gulf Coast Jewish Families Chief Operating Officer Terri Balliet.

Dr. Biddleman is receiving the Diane Granito Heart of Gold Award for her work advocating for foster children. The award is given by the Heart Gallery, a group that highlights adoptable children in the foster care system. 

"Just being able to help," said Dr. Biddleman. "Being able to make a difference, being able know that there are children that did not know about a good family and now they do."

Dr. Biddleman has been the CEO for the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County for ten years. The board's goal is to advocate for children so that they can have the opportunity to have a successful life.

"She has had such a hugh impact on our community," said Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco Program Director Patsy Stills. "She takes so many opportunities to use her positions in the community, in her life's work, to make a difference."

Dr. Biddleman joined the Heart gallery Board in 2006. She has a special place in her heart for children in foster care.

"I think it's incredibly important that all children have that opportunity to know what it means, to know what it's like to do something, even if it's wrong, and stand there, right there with you, and say, 'It's OK."

She's leaving a legacy of bringing people together for the benefit of providing a loving and caring home for children. Dr. Biddleman will receive the award next month. For more information on her work, visit