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Michael Barnes

Austinites champion an adoption-match picnic

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I met Patricia Kelly years ago while reporting on her incredible daughter, Ally Davidson, who not only triumphed on “American Gladiator,” she also founded a highly successful fitness company, Camp Gladiator.

Patricia has been a good and faithful correspondent ever since.

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She let me know about a recent event hosted by the Rotary Club of Austin Centennial and chaired by  Carol Lozano.

“Our club has a passion for trying to help foster children,” Kelly writes. “And we host, with Child Protective Services, an annual adoption-match picnic where children needing adoptive parents play games and enjoy time with volunteers, other children and prospective parents.”

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The group’s recent picnic attracted 72 children — 44 boys and 28 girls — along with 28 parents and 60 or so foster parents, CPS workers and maybe 30 volunteers. They played Lego robotics, volleyball and kickball. They ran an obstacle course and bounced around inflated houses. There were craft stations, a photo booth, makeup from Mary Kay for teens, a DJ and picnic fare.

“The prospective parents just casually interact, no formal interview,” Kelly reports. “Before they attend, they go through screening and are certified by authorities for adoption purposes. Many start as foster parents then adopt, I think.”

Of course, more parents are needed. Think about it.