By Elena Epstein
The reception room inside Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts was filled with community supporters, families, and employees of Five Acres, a nonprofit organization focused on finding safe and permanent family solutions for children in L.A. County. But, the most anticipated guest remained under cover most of the evening.
Boy 5A, a four-foot sculpture of a boy representing the 20,000 children currently living in foster care in L.A., was unveiled Nov. 6 by Parenthood actor and Five Acres mentor and supporter Sam Jaeger. The hybrid-fiberglass sculpture was created by Pasadena-based sculptor and visual artist Matthew “Scout” Segotta.
“We all have an image of what a family should look like,” says Edwin Quiles, Wraparound program coordinator at Five Acres and father of a 13-year-old adopted son and two biological children. “A family is love and acceptance and it can look different than the picture in our mind.”
As part of Five Acres’ “20,000 By 2020 Permanency Campaign,” various corporate sponsors will serve as “foster” families for Boy 5A until he arrives at his permanent home with the Berkshire-Hathaway Home Services Foundation.
Boy 5A is designed to educate the public about the current crisis within the foster care system, says Chanel Boutakidis, MA, MFT, chief executive officer of Five Acres. “We hope Boy 5A will trigger action and more families will step up and make the commitment to adopt.”
The sculpture will be displayed in the seven corporate partners’ public spaces, lobbies, courtyards and offices over a seven-week span. His foster homes include California Bank and Trust in Pasadena (Nov. 11-18), Merrill Lynch/Bank of America downtown (Nov. 18 – Dec. 1), Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena (Dec. 1-15), Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena (Dec. 15-22) and the Langham Huntington Hotel (Dec. 22 – Jan. 4).
“Kids in foster care need to feel loved and recognized,” says Sam Jaeger, father of three and a long-time supporter of Five Acres. “There are a lot of kids in our own back yard in need of a loving home.”
For more information on 5 Acres, visit www.5acres.org/advocacy-now.