FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 14, 2003) - For 13-year-old Misty, being adopted would mean one thing: "Being loved."
A Louisville photo exhibit is designed to help Misty and other state foster children find the love they crave from a permanent, adoptive family.
The Shining Star Photo Gallery premiered Thursday at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center and will travel to other locations throughout Louisville this year.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and WLKY Wednesday’s Child are cosponsors of the display, which features 21 children from Kentucky’s Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP). The children are living with foster families across the state.
Eighteen professional photographers from the area donated their time to create the 19 portraits of children or sibling pairs.
"Events like this gallery prove how community collaborations can work to the benefit of these kids," Governor Ernie Fletcher stated. "When the state joins forces with charitable groups like Wednesday’s Child, we get more done. And one by one, our foster children will be welcomed home."
Since 1979, SNAP has been recruiting adoptive families for Kentucky’s waiting foster children -- many of whom are older, have medical needs or are part of sibling groups. The children have been featured on WLKY’s "Wednesday’s Child" segments and in the SNAP photo book and Web profiles.
The Shining Star Photo Gallery is an extension of those efforts and will share the state’s need for families with people who may have never seriously considered adoption, said Sandra Wilson, Jefferson County service region administrator.
"If we believe that families are the fabric of our society, then we must embrace the belief that finding families for children awaiting adoption can only strengthen our communities and society as a whole," she said.
"Increasing awareness to the number of children ‘waiting in the wings’ is an essential first step to more folks wanting to explore adoption."
More than 500 children are now waiting for adoption.
The exhibit will be at the Mellwood center until Tuesday, May 18. The portrait collection is scheduled for display at Southeast Christian Church, offices of the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), the Louisville Free Public Library, Jefferson Mall and other locations later this year.
Leaders of Louisville businesses, churches and special events may reserve the portraits for display. Call (502) 595-KIDS or (800) 928-4303 to learn more about hosting the Shining Star Photo Gallery and helping find loving families for these and other children.
Look for the gallery’s updated schedule online at http://cfc.state.ky.us/cbs-snap/.
Wilson expects the gallery will evolve as children become adopted and new photographers and children join the project.
Photographers contributing to the exhibit are as follows: Bruce Anderson, Rick Bell, Clinton Bennett, Geoff Bugbee, Geoffrey Carr, Laura Faber, Kathy Garcia, Vivian Knox-Thompson, Dean Lavenson, Brian Moberly, John Nation, Debra Rose, Victor Simon, Regina Thomas, Craig Tomeny, Keith Williams, Martha Work and Yono.
For more information about adoption, log onto the SNAP Web site or http://www.wednesdayschild.com.
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