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      Carthage man selected as SAM Foster Parent of the Year

      With close to 6,000,000 in foster care across the United States, there is always a need for foster parents.

      And now a Tri-State area man is being honored for his dedication as a foster parent.

      Ron Fink is the latest recipient of the SAM Foster Parent Award.

      For more than a decade the judges of the 8th judicial circuit in Illinois have honored a foster parent for their hard work and dedication to children who are in the foster care system. The honor is in the form of the SAM Foster Parent Award. It's named after a young girl who passed away from complications with cystic fibrosis. Her parents wanted to make sure she was remembered for years to come. So that's why the award is given out every year and this year. Ron Fink of Carthage is this year's SAM Foster Parent of the year.

      "And it just seemed like he was a foster parent who has been good at providing that type of care so that's what we're trying to honor," Judge John Wooleyhan said.

      Wooleyhan sees plenty of children come through his courtroom who have been placed in the foster care system. He said people like Ron Fink are a blessing for the children who are placed with him. Fink said he wants the best for the children who come and live with him and in his house, yes means yes and no means no.

      "I just do it because I enjoy it. I don't want credit for anything that I'm doing. The kids take the credit for what they're doing. It's what they take away from me and and take home with them I guess is what really counts," Fink said.

      Fink has been a licensed Foster parent for more than a decade. And since 2005, he's had seven children live with him on a long term placement. Fink said he enjoys what he can offer the children and hopes they take away something positive from the time they spend with him.

      Fink raised five boys of his own before becoming a foster parent.

      If you would like more information on becoming a Foster parent, you can contact Chaddock in Quincy at 217-592-0450.