Johanns Nominates Harrisburg Couple for 'Angels in Adoption' Award


U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns announced Tuesday hisnomination of Dave and Laura Whelchel of Harrisburg, Neb., for 2012 Angels inAdoption.

The Whelchels have been foster parents since 2000. In addition totheir two grown biological children, they've adopted four children in need of ahome and are in the process of adopting a fifth sister.

Each of the adoptedchildren came into the Whelchel home with special physical, occupational andspeech therapy needs.

"I have the greatest admiration for Dave and Laura'sdedication to helping these wonderful children and showing them the love everychild deserves," Johanns said. "Additionally, they've selflessly donated theirfarm, time, and talents to create Camp Grace, a camp that helps children withspecial needs. I could not think of a more deserving family for this award."

Three years ago, the Whelchels opened Camp Grace, a summer campon their property for other children with special needs. The camp is held oncea month during the summer and is designed to help the children work towardsspecific therapy goals.

Camp Grace relies on the Whelchel's donated time andresources, as well as extensive coordination from volunteers and therapists.

Angels in Adoption is a program that honors those who haveenriched the lives of foster and adopted children in the United States.