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Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue

First Lady Mary Perdue and DHR Commissioner BJ Walker Hold Foster Care Month Prom Dress Drive

Friday, May 19, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Equifax and Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Honored as Newest Champions

ATLANTA— Today First Lady Mary Perdue and Department of Human Resources Commission BJ Walker hosted a Mother- Daughter Tea and Prom Dress Drive in honor of Foster Care Month. Mothers and daughters from across Atlanta gathered at the Governor’s Mansion to donate more than 500 prom dresses to the Foster Care Support Foundation’s Prom Clinic.

"I am thrilled by the overwhelming response from the young ladies within our community. These girls recognize that community involvement is a key factor in meeting the needs of our foster children," said First Lady Mary Perdue. "We are delighted to partner with the Foster Care Support Foundation to bring attention to many issues that affect foster children throughout our state."

The Foster Care Support Foundation’s Prom Clinic is an opportunity for foster teen girls in eleventh and twelfth grades to choose from an array of dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories for their prom night. The Prom Clinic also offers cosmetic consultants for each of the girls before her prom night.

"Sometimes a dress is more than a dress. It is a life long memory," said Commissioner BJ Walker. "These dresses symbolize foster care month, and at DHR and DFS we are grateful to the foster parents who open 4,100 homes to kids who need family."

The Foster Care Support Foundation is a 501©3, all volunteer organization that donates free clothes, toys and infant-care equipment to Georgia foster children. The Foster Care Support Foundation distribution center has been in operation since 2000.

During the tea, Equifax and the Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton were recognized as two of the newest additions to the First Lady’s Champions for Children program.

Since the launch of the First Lady's Champions for Children initiative, 66 new Champions for Children have been announced, including 25 Georgia corporations, 27 faith based communities and 14 civic organizations. Each of these groups represents new or increased involvement with foster children within their community.

The state of Georgia has approximately 16,000 foster children in care.