Delaware County Job and Family Services asked county commissioners on Monday to approve a request for $750 for the annual Foster Parent Banquet, but out of appreciation for foster parents, commissioners approved, on the spot, an amended resolution for $1,000.

Angela Thomas, JFS assistant director, said the banquet is appreciated by the foster parents, which she estimates to be about 20 in total.

“I think the foster parents really appreciate that time to get together with the other foster parents and to meet with you (the commissioners) and other people from the department,” she said during Monday’s meeting. “It gives them an opportunity to share stories and really a time for us to recognize them for what they do for Delaware (County).”

Commissioner Gary Merrell said he admires and appreciates the foster parents of Delaware County and had gone to several of the events in the past. He then shared an observation of the last banquet he attended.

“The menu was so limited. I thought it a disservice to the foster parents and what we’re trying to honor and thank them for their service,” he said.

Looking down at the requested amount on his paper, Merrell added, “I don’t know if this is the same amount that you requested last year or not, but I guess my point is it should be a good experience for the foster parents who are giving up their evening to come to the event. So, a couple, three dollars either way, if it enhances the event, I suggest you look at it and if this dollar figure doesn’t accomplish that, then come back and ask for some additional.”

Commissioner Barb Lewis suggested increasing the amount requested while Thomas was already present in front of the commissioners.

“If we increase it to a $1,000, you’re certainly not going to spend more,” she told Thomas.

Commissioner Jeff Benton made a motioned to first amend the original resolution from $750 to $1,000. Once commissioners approved the amendment, they then approved the resolution for $1,000 to fund the banquet.

“It’s so richly deserved,” Lewis said. “These people have opened their homes to these children. I definitely think we want it to be more — a bigger menu selection, and as far as the place goes, look at someplace else.”

By D. Anthony Botkin

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Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.