VALDOSTA — Olympic Park was filled with community support last week as adoptive and foster parents gave back to the state Division of Family and Children Services. 

The 15th Annual Appreciation Luncheon was hosted by the Lowndes Area Adoptive/Foster Parents Support Group, and it was an event that benefited Lowndes County and Brooks County DFCS.

Staffers, board members and others lined for fried chicken, ham, collard greens, chicken and rice, macaroni and cheese, vanilla creme cake, lemon cake, etc.

Alice Brown, support group president, has three biological children and has adopted two boys and one girl. She said the organization wanted to extend its gratitude.

“We just thought it was a good idea to show them appreciation because they do work hard to help us out at any time,” Brown said.

Sandra Tooley, city councilwoman for District 2 and mayor pro-tem, presented a proclamation during the luncheon to declare April 19 DFCS Appreciation Day.

She said she has attended the luncheon for years, and she called the fostering and adoption program prosperous.

“Not only for DFCS, but for our community because these kids are doing well when they get somebody who shows care and devotion; those kids give back in a positive way,” she said.

Gail Finley, Lowndes County DFCS director, said the support group’s kindness means the world to her.

“For people to take time out of their busy schedules and to plan such an event, it’s so rewarding to recognize the work that we do for our children and the families in this community,” Finley said. 

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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