Race to promote adoption—Drivers meet youths searching for a family

Date: 6/4/2008 9:36:13 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            Contact: Elisa Esh
                                                                                                 Cell: 724-7979

Race to promote adoption—Drivers meet youths searching for a family

WILLIAMS GROVE—To help drivers understand the cause they are helping to promote, adoptive youths met and posed for a photo with 410 and 358 drivers participating in Williams Grove Speedway’s adoption awareness night race scheduled for Aug. 1. (Photo attached-caption information at end of news release.) The photo was taken at Williams Grove Speedway.

This will be the fifth consecutive year the track has supported adoption by posting adoptive youths’ photos on race car wings as well as hosting an adoption fair, matching events, and sharing information about adoption with racing fans. This year’s race will be bigger than ever with potentially 80 410 and 358 sprint cars displaying temporary vinyl coverings on each car’s top wing boards that feature individual photos of children seeking adoption.

Adoption Night has enjoyed success finding families for youths. In 2004, the event’s first year, two children were matched as a result of the race. In the past three years, 15 youths have been united with their forever families thanks to this support from the racing community.

“This evening is one that our children and teenagers look forward to all year long. Sadly, it is a rare opportunity for these youths to enjoy an evening out,” says Elisa Esh, director, Diakon Adoption and Foster Care.

Adoption Night at Williams Grove Speedway is sponsored by Diakon Adoption and Foster Care in collaboration with Dauphin and Montgomery County Children and Youth agencies, Bethanna, Jewish Family Services/Adoption Links, Northwestern Human Services, and Project STAR of Pittsburgh.

This year in Pennsylvania, more than 20,000 children will enter foster care and of those 1,300 children need a “forever family” to call their own. Sadly, every year approximately 1,000 youths reach the age of 18 without ever finding a permanent home and family. Statistics show that these youths have more difficulty finding employment and are at a higher risk for homelessness and incarceration.

Persons interested in learning more about adoption should contact Diakon Adoption and Foster Care at 717-795-0320 or contact the Statewide Adoption Network Helpline
at 800-585-7926 (SWAN). 

Providing senior living accommodations, health care, and a range of family and children’s programs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, Diakon serves people without regard to religious affiliation. Dating to 1868, the nonprofit organization annually touches the lives of 70,000 persons through programs ranging from adoption and foster care and services for at-risk youths to family counseling and continuum-of-care retirement communities.

To learn more about Diakon, visit www.diakon.org.




Top row to bottom


Top Row: Glenndon Forsythe, Aaron Ott, Adam Lawrence

Row Down: Rick Stonebraker, John Westbrook, Nicole Bower

Row Down: Dan Massey, John Barnett, Ryan Bohlke, Chris Meleason

Row Down:  Alan Krimes, Elvin Diller, III

Row Down: Greg Hodnett, Mike Carber, Pat Cannon, AJ Michaels

Row Down: Stewart Smith,

Row Down: Cory Haas, Donnie Kreitz, Jr., Doug Dodson

Row Down: Bob Bennett, Craig Keel, Keith Prutzman

Row Down: Tod Zinn, Pat Cooper, Alan Cole

Row Down: Fred Rahmer, Mark Smith, Todd Shaffer, Brian Leppo, Cody Darrah, Mike Erdley

Row Down: Chad Layton, TJ Stutts, Doug Esh

Adoption Professionals and Youths:

Bottom Row: Karen Knodel-Bethanna, Sandra Bright-NHS Human Services, Shannon Detweiler-Diakon Adoption and Foster Care, Jennifer Bircher-Diakon, Nancy Howard-Diakon, Mikal-age 9, Khalil-age 7, David-age 15, Zach-age 15, Elisa Esh-Diakon, Angie Vicchiotti-Diakon, Liz White-Diakon, Tina Moore-Families United Network





Elisa M. Esh

Director, Recruitment and Family Development

Diakon Adoption and Foster Care

960 Century Drive

Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Office: 717-795-0347

Cell: 717-724-7979

Fax: 717-795-0445



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