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C.A.S.E presents “Star of Adoption” Awards to Senator Mary Landrieu, Marjorie Margolies and Rachel Crow, at Branching Out Gala, Thursday, April 28, 2016

Burtonsville, MD - The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) will present its annual "Star of Adoption Awards" to Senator Mary Landrieu, former congressional representative Marjorie Margolies and teen star Rachel Crow, next Thursday, April 28, 2016 at the annual Branching Out Gala at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Senator Landrieu, Ms. Margolies and Ms. Crow are being honored for their outstanding contributions to adoption advocacy and support for children and families in the foster care and adoption communities. Barbara Harrison of NBC4 News is emceeing the event.

"We are so pleased to honor these three outstanding women," said Debbie Riley, CEO of C.A.S.E. "They each have imprinted their unique contributions to heighten awareness and advocate for services that ensure foster and adoptive families are supported in their journeys."

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Senator Mary Landrieu is a nationally recognized advocate for building families through adoption having served as Senate Co-Chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption beginning in 1998. Throughout her time in Congress, she demonstrated enduring dedication to helping children and families by working to increase the adoption tax credit, reform the foster care system, and create laws helpful to families who are committed to international adoption. She was the co-sponsor of the Safe and Stable Families Act, which removed barriers to children finding permanent homes and families in a timely manner. Senator Landrieu is also a parent of two adopted children.

Marjorie Margolies is a former Congresswoman elected to represent Pennsylvania's 13th district in 1992. Ms. Margolies became the first unmarried U.S. citizen to adopt a foreign child. Lee Heh arrived from Korea in 1970, and four years later, their family expanded to include Holly from Vietnam. Marjorie chronicled their experiences in the 1976 best-seller, They Came to Stay, the first of four books she has authored. Currently, she is the founding President of Women's Campaign International (WCI), a group that provides advocacy training for women throughout the world.

Rachel Crow is a young adult who was adopted from foster care as a child. She is currently working as a singer, comedian and actor and has appeared on TV shows and movies, including BrainSurge, Big Time Rush, Figure it Out, Fred: The Show. Ms. Crow voiced Carla in the film Rio 2 following her 5th place finish on the popular TV show XFactor in 2011. She has performed at the White House twice, and her video and song "Mean Girls" has more than 16 million views on YouTube. In addition to accepting her award, Ms. Crow will perform two songs from her forthcoming album that is scheduled for a summer release.

Two additional Star of Adoption recipients are Daniel Leonard, and Kaari and Lee Vazquez. Mr. Leonard is a young adult adopted person and Mr. and Mrs. Vazquez have two adopted children and provide foster care for other children as well. Each will share their personal adoption journeys as part of the awards festivities.

C.A.S.E.'s Branching Out Gala is chaired by Phil Gibbs and Pam Krooth. Mr. Gibbs is President of Hamel Builders and Ms. Krooth is an adoption therapist with C.A.S.E. Honorary Chairs include First Lady of Montgomery County Catherine Leggett, Jeffrey Slavin, Mayor of Somerset and Anne R. Kaiser, Maryland State Delegate and House Majority Leader.

The Gala starts at 6:30pm and will feature Asian themed dining, and a robust silent auction to benefit the organization's mission. Online bidding on silent auction items is now available through 8:15pm on April 28, 2016 at Bidding for Good at www.biddingforgood.com/branchingout. Fundraising during the event will benefit the Barbara Harrison Scholarship Fund that helps adoptive and foster children and families access vital mental health and education services that support their stability.

ABOUT C.A.S.E.: The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) is a nationally recognized leader in adoption competent education, advocacy and training. Our mission is to strengthen the well-being of foster and adoptive families, promote adoption awareness, enhance adoption sensitivity, and develop the skills for professionals and families to empower children to thrive. With four offices in the metropolitan DC area, C.A.S.E. has provided services for more than 5,600 children and families since its founding in 1998. Partnerships with Jockey Being Family and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption allow C.A.S.E. to have greater reach to provide education and training for adoption-competency training nationally and internationally. C.A.S.E. is currently developing an adoption-competent National Training Initiative funded by a 5-year grant with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Children. For more information visit www.adoptionsupport.org.

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