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Foster Dad is Honored

Cole Clarke accepts his award from Gov. Mike Leavitt.

Five dedicated fathers from Parowan to Castle Dale were presented with awards from the Utah Foster Care Foundation on Fathers' Day weekend. The fathers represent five different areas of Utah and were honored for their contributions to children in foster care. Governor Mike Leavitt presented the awards on June 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the foundation's Chalk Art Festival at The Gateway.

"It's a team effort to be a successful foster family," said Kelsey Lewis, director of recruitment for the Foundation. "All of these dads were chosen because they opened their hearts and homes to children in need. Their dedication is reflected in some of the personal thoughts from the children about their dads."

One teenager said, "My dad is always willing to talk or listen to me, especially at time when I'm struggling, even if it means interrupting his work. He knows when he is needed."

Another child with special medical needs said, "My dad came and held me at Primary Children's Hospital even before he knew if he was going to be my dad for sure. When he is in the room, I do not need anyone else."

The Utah Foster Care Foundation is a non-profit organization that finds, educates and nurtures families to meet the needs of children in foster care.

Castle Dale Foster Dad, Cole Clarke was one of those honored.

Clarke said, "It was really a lot of fun for the kids and they enjoyed it."

Cole and his wife Rene have opened their home to foster children for a number of years.





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