CONGRESSIONAL COALITION RECOGNIZES KRISTIN CHENOWETH, RHEA PERLMAN, AND EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION AS “NATIONAL ANGELS IN ADOPTION™”
Award Ceremony Honors Those Who’ve Helped Children through Adoption and Foster Care
WASHINGTON, DC — The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) hosted its 12th Annual Angels in Adoption™ Gala on October 6 in Washington, DC. The gala highlights the work of celebrities and individuals across the country working tirelessly on behalf of children in U.S. foster care and orphans around the world. 2010 National Angels in Adoption™ honorees include Tony and Emmy Award winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, Four-time Emmy Award winning actress Rhea Perlman and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Members of Congress presented these awards and praised the National Angels for using their celebrity and influence to bring awareness about children in need of families.
Also recognized were the 140 Angels in Adoption™ who were selected by their Member of Congress and came to DC from across the country for this program. 2010 Angel in Adoption™, Martha Allen of California, said of attending the event, “I’m looking forward to coming home full of ideas, inspiration and awe after hearing about each Angel and the wonderful things they have accomplished.” For a complete list of Angels and their states visit http://bit.ly/bCEMEI.
As part of the event, Country music artist Jimmy Wayne performed his song “Elephant Ears” about his own experience as a foster child. He shared, “One of the great things about the Angels in Adoption™ program is the level of awareness it brings to an option people don’t always consider, and that’s adopting a child or teen who is in the Foster Care system. There are so many kids there, just waiting for a loving family to give them a home.”
Kristin Chenoweth was honored for her willingness to use her own personal story to raise awareness about adoption and the importance of individuals stepping forward to impact the lives of children. “Being adopted myself,” says Chenoweth, “I understand what impact adoption has on the life of a child. I was lucky that my parents gave me unconditional love and support, and I don’t think I would be where I am today without them.”
Over the years, Rhea Perlman played an important role in the media and television industry’s advocacy for improvements to foster care, and in particular the need for reform throughout California. There are over 67,000 children in the California alone, accounting for one-eighth of all children in the U.S. foster care system. She is also outspoken about adoption for older youth in care.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was awarded for its efforts to feature foster and adoptive families on their show, thereby raising awareness of the needs of waiting children and the joy adoption can bring to a family. Since the show began, there have been three Angel in Adoption™ families, from various parts of the country, featured on the show. “We are honored to receive this award for the 33 episodes in which we presented homes to adoptive or foster families. While our efforts to provide these families a beautiful new home are intended to make a difference in their lives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is pleased to learn that these episodes are also making a difference in the fight for every children in the world to have a safe and loving home of their own,” says the show’s Executive Producer, Diane Korman.
Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of CCAI states, “Statistically speaking, it is possible for each and every child to have a safe and permanent family to call their own. Because of Angels celebrated by this program, we are much closer to achieving that goal. Almost across the board, each Angel’s extraordinary journey started with a single step forward – saying count me in.”
CCAI (www.ccainstitute.org) is a non-profit organization which serves as an educational resource for information critical to advancing the efforts of policymakers on behalf of children in need of families. Please follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ccainstitute), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ccainstitute), YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/ccainstitute), and our blog (http://ccainstitute.wordpress.com).
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