ROYAL OAK, MI – The 2018 Heart Gallery featuring a photographic exhibit of 143 Michigan children in foster care who are seeking forever homes will be unveiled April 28 at Emagine Theater in Royal Oak.
This grand opening will launch the statewide photographic tour showcasing many of Michigan’s youth awaiting adoption from foster care.
The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), a program of the Judson Center, organizes the exhibit for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Fifty professional photographers from throughout the state donated their time and talents to make the 2018 Heart Gallery possible.
The grand opening is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the theater, 200 N. Main St., Royal Oak. The event is open to the public, but attendees are asked to register in advance by calling 800-589-6273.
“Children in Michigan’s foster care system who are unable to safely return home need permanent, loving homes,” said Dr. Herman McCall, executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency. “The Heart Gallery helps put a human face to youth who are waiting to be adopted.”
The April 28 event will feature remarks from Tiffany Sinawi of Oakland County, a member of Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative and former foster youth, and Jamie and Lance Rynearson of Midland, an adoptive family. Also speaking are Laura Baldwin, MDHHS adoption policy analyst, and Susan Salhaney, chief operating officer for the Judson Center, the Ann Arbor-based human services nonprofit that runs MARE. Festivities will include the premiere of the 2018 Heart Gallery video on the big screen highlighting teens in need of adoptive families followed by a luncheon reception and gallery viewing.
“The 2018 Heart Gallery Grand Opening strives to raise awareness for adoption of older youth,” said MARE program manager Michelle Parra. “This year’s Heart Gallery video emphasizes the power that one caring adult can have in a child’s life.”
To learn more about the Michigan Heart Gallery, visit www.miheart.org or call 800-589-6273.
MARE is an information and referral service for prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting children from foster care and for adoption workers looking for homes for these children. The MARE website, www.mare.org, includes biographies of children who can be adopted and lists additional events occurring throughout the state in the upcoming year.