Hillsborough foster children, families will gather for annual picnic

A foster child enjoys a pony ride at last year’s picnic at Lupton’s Boggy Bottom Ranch. Lupton’s Restaurant and Catering has been sponsoring the event for 22 years.

Hillsborough Kids, Inc.

A foster child enjoys a pony ride at last year’s picnic at Lupton’s Boggy Bottom Ranch. Lupton’s Restaurant and Catering has been sponsoring the event for 22 years.

Lupton's Restaurant & Catering will serve up smiles and laughter along with its famous barbecue to area foster children and the families who care for them at its 22nd annual picnic at Lupton's Boggy Bottom Ranch in Temple Terrace this Sunday.

The Lupton family and area supporters donate all of the food, games and gifts for the nearly 1,000 children and foster parents who attend each year.

Because a shortage of foster homes splits up some siblings, this event allows the children to reconnect with their brothers and sisters.

Ralph Lupton and his wife, Nancy, believe that going through life without giving makes someone an empty person.

"This picnic is all about the kids and the love that their foster parents give them," Ralph Lupton said. "As an adopted child, I can appreciate what my parents gave up to take me in and give me love."

Hillsborough Kids will oversee the event, and although control of child welfare services in the county is being transferred to Eckerd Youth Alternatives, both entities hope the annual picnic will continue for years.

— Times staff

Hillsborough foster children, families will gather for annual picnic 03/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 3:30am]

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