Jack Lightfoot Voice for Children Award

Judge Bamberger and Brad Kuster (CFS trustee and chair of the advocacy committee)
Judge Bamberger and Brad Kuster (CFS trustee and chair of the advocacy committee)
Child and Family Services’ NH Children’s Lobby presented Honorable Thomas Bamberger with the Jack Lightfoot Voice for Children award.  The award is an honor bestowed yearly to a New Hampshire citizen who has shown an outstanding commitment to and made a tremendous difference in the lives of children and families.  

              Hon. Bamberger, circuit court judge, retired this year after 26 years on the bench, the last 15 in Nashua.  In that time, he developed several innovative programs that impacted the lives of thousands of New Hampshire children and families:  Drug Court, which was one of the first in NH District Courts and has since expanded to a number of Circuit and Superior Courts; Juvenile Drug Court in the Nashua District; the Mental Health Court program; Guardian ad Litem training programs; and his personal project, Nashua’s Truancy Court, for which he volunteered his time at the schools before he was due in court.

            The VFC award was presented to Judge Bamberger by Brad Kuster, member of the Child and Family Services board of trustees and chair of the agency’s advocacy committee.  Kuster explained that a common theme in Judge Bamberger’s career had been to address the underlying reasons why people end up in the court system and to give them a better chance to put their lives back on track.  

 “Throughout his years on the bench,” said Kuster, “Judge Bamberger consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to guarding the rights of children and improving the lives of children and families.”

In his acceptance speech, Judge Bamberger told the stories of three young boys, two of whom he represented when he was an attorney and one who came before him when he was on the bench, whose triumph of the human spirit made an impact on his career.  

"Tonight, I ask your indulgence,” said Judge Bamberger, “to receive this award in the names of Toby, Michael, Paul and all of the children who have courageously survived abuse and neglect,  and by doing so are the voices that define our mission."

            The Jack Lightfoot Voice for Children award was presented Tuesday, October 21, at Child and Family Services’ first annual Celebration Event, at the Manchester Country Club.