Foster Family Fun Day is Sept. 18 in Mason

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/7/2022 11:29:41 AM
Modified: 9/7/2022 11:25:54 AM

On Sunday, Sept. 18, Marty’s Driving Range in Mason is hosting a Foster Family Fun Day, a festival for both foster families and the general public to have fun and learn more about the state’s foster system and how to get involved.

Organizer Mike Ordway, who has been a foster parent for the past 10 years, said the event is open to everyone, and all or most activities will be free for foster children. Some games and activities will be free for everyone, with some events at a low cost for non-foster children.

The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Marty’s Driving Range has donated the venue. To keep costs as low as possible, the event is seeking donations, for a total of about $3,000. Donations are still being accepted.

Activities include a bouncy house, pony rides, spin art, face-painting, balloon animals, a miniature train ride, cornhole and access to the driving range. Refreshments, including popcorn, cotton candy and ice cream, will be available.

“It’s an exciting day for the kids to come and have fun, and forget about being a foster kid for awhile,” Ordway said.

In addition to being a day of fun for children, the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families will be present to provide information about how to become a foster parent and have profiles of children available for adoption. Ordway said the event has two goals -- one, to just let the children be children for a day, and the other to raise awareness about the need for foster families or adoption through the state.

About 900 children annually are served by the New Hampshire foster system annually, according to DCYF. Ordway said giving children in need a stable home is crucial to their ability to live successful lives. According to a study done by the University of Chicago in 2015, foster youth, nationally, only graduate high school at a rate of about 58 percent, with a fraction of that completing higher education. According to that same study, nearly 26,000 youth age out of foster care nationally, and of those who age out, one in five become homeless, one in four become involved with the justice system within two years of leaving foster care and by age 26, only about half are employed.

Ordway said he has seen the impacts of trauma, grief and loss on children in his care.

“It’s not the child’s fault. They’re just born into a situation. Some of them need an incredible amount of help, and the earlier you can provide that, they more likely they are to develop into successful adults,” Ordway said. “The kids that age out of the system without a family, without that system of stability, really founder. They need someone who cares about them.”

Ordway said the Foster Family Fun Day is a way for foster families to connect with each other, as well as build interest among new families who want to become certified as a foster home.

Donations can be made through TD Bank account ending in 4888 called Foster Fun Day, through PayPal at mikeordway1@myfairpoint.net or people may drop off checks at Mason Brook Nursery in Mason. For information, visit the event page on facebook.com/events/383506090525170, or send email to mikeordway1@myfairpoint.net. 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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