Park West Foundation Launches "Blue Babies" Initiative

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Initiative dedicated to transforming lives of young people aging out of foster care to be unveiled during events on August 1st

Park West Foundation (http://www.parkwestfoundation.org), which was founded in 2006 by founder and CEO of Park West Gallery, Albert Scaglione and his wife Mitsie Scaglione, is unveiling its "Blue Babies" initiative. The initiative is designed to facilitate the positive transformation of young people who are aging out of the foster care system. "Blue Babies" represent Michigan youth who have triumphed over adversity. These youth are committed to leading by example to empower their peers and to serve as guardians and advocates of children's rights in service of their communities.

The "Blue Babies" initiative will be formally unveiled during the Together, We Can Michigan "Blue and Green Fest" community event on Saturday, August 1 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreational Center, 8431 Rosa Parks, Detroit. This free event is open to the public and features free food, fun, games and live entertainment. The event includes a bus tour of historical sites and celebrity homes, with tour times at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., or 4:30 p.m. Special preference will be given to guests who wear blue or green. A special session, "Healing from Abuse" will take place from 10 a.m. - noon.

"Park West Foundation is currently working with more than 200 young adults who have recently aged out of the foster care system," said Mitsie Scaglione, executive director of the Park West Foundation. "We have assisted in the transformation of dozens of young people who left foster care without a decent place to live, without a clear direction for their future, in many cases without adequate job skills or education, and often without the support network necessary to create a positive life. 'Blue Babies' was formed to bring a more focused approach to the needs of these young adults."

"Blue Babies" range in age from 17-21 years old when they age out of the foster care system, are in many cases left on their own to find housing, employment and/or educational opportunities. The "Blue Babies" initiative provides a framework of support that includes a "family" of foster care peers to provide guidance and assistance, as well as access to a network of social and government services available for financial, education and job training resources. Without support of organizations like Park West Foundation, and many other local partnering agencies, many of the "Blue Babies" fall victim to predators, or become involved in crime or in drug use.

About The Park West Foundation
The Park West Foundation was formed in 2006 by Albert Scaglione, CEO of Park West Gallery, and his wife Mitsie Scaglione to provide assistance to children and families including foster care, family preservation, family life education, counseling, teen parent services, residential placement and adoption. Additionally, the Park West Foundation provides support for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system, currently supporting more than 200 young people in metro Detroit. The Foundation's goal is to create a more complete support system for these young adults. The Park West Foundation provides scholarships to students pursuing higher education, direct financial support for transportation for employment or education purposes, and housing. The Foundation currently operates one 12-unit apartment complex and facilitates the availability of dozens of other housing opportunities for the growing number of young people who are aging out of the foster care system.

About Park West Gallery
Founded in 1969, Park West is one of the largest art dealers in the world, selling works of art through its galleries in Michigan and Florida as well as on cruise ships internationally. The Park West Gallery collection includes oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors and drawings, hand-signed limited edition etchings, lithographs, serigraphs and hand-embellished graphic works. Park West Gallery also offers an extensive selection of sports memorabilia - autographed by celebrity athletes and a unique collection of rare animation art. Park West Gallery occupies a 63,000 square foot headquarters and gallery in Southfield, Michigan and an 181,000 square foot fulfillment center and gallery in Miami Lakes, Florida.

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