(from left to right) NBC4 Anchor and Wednesday’s Child Founder, Barbara Harrison, D.C. Councilmember and COG Vice Chair Kwame Brown, D.C. Foster Parent of the Year Betty Marlene Taylor, and Fairfax Vice Chairman and COG Chairman Penelope Gross at the Gala. For additional photos from the event, please contact Lewis Miller.
Update: COG Board Chairman Penny Gross discusses the Foster Parent Appreciation Gala, as well as the role that COG and local governments can play in recruiting and retaining foster parents in the latest episode of 'The COG Podcast.' Click here to listen to the discussion.
Washington, D.C. – Foster parents from around the region were honored this weekend at the 2009 Metropolitan Washington Foster Parent Appreciation Gala. The event, this year titled “Evening of Appreciation: Foster Parents are a Work of Heart,” is an annual celebration sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the Freddie Mac Foundation to award the hard work and dedication of the region’s foster parents. Caring for the region’s 6,000 children in foster care is a tremendously challenging job that requires love and patience. In spite of the pressures and difficulties, thousands of foster parents throughout the area continue to open their hearts to these children who would otherwise have no place to call home.
Foster parents throughout the region were presented with “Foster Parent of the Year” awards by elected officials from their jurisdiction. The award winners are listed below.
District of Columbia
Betty Marlene Taylor
Jamie and Kirk Reel
Prince George’s County
Richard and Aaron Hooks-Wayman
Curtis and Elda Reel
Vigi and Fatima Phillips
Prince William County