Kennedy Institute Hails Its Achievements; Community Joins Celebration of Skills Defying Developmental disabilities.(METROPOLITAN)
Byline: Denise Barnes, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Overcast skies didn't put a damper on the spirits of the hundreds of folks who gathered on the grounds of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute in Northeast yesterday for a family-oriented celebration of all that the institute has done for people with developmental disabilities.
Roughly 500 friends of the institute feasted under a canopy on barbecue chicken and ribs, baked beans, potato salad, veggie burgers and cole slaw while listening to swing tunes and popular R&B music. There was also dancing, games and pony rides for the children.
The four-hour party called, "Celebrating our Caring Community," brought together the organization's employees and their families, volunteers, board members, donors and those who use the Kennedy Institute's many services - which range from day care to job placement and classes.
Tanesha Abbott, who attends the organization's school, brought her camera along to take some pictures of the celebration. Since enrolling in a photography course offered by the Kennedy Institute, she's developed an eye for photographic conditions and said the cloudy skies provided just the right light.
Her work will appear in the exhibition "Eyes of Wonder: A Passion for Photography" at the Millennium Arts Center in Northwest from Sept. 18 through Oct. 17. About 120 black-and-white photographs taken by students in the Kennedy Institute's program and in D.C. public schools will be on display in the exhibit.
"I became interested in photography in April when the class started," said Miss Abbott, 19. "It's fun learning about photography, and I feel really good once I see the finished picture. Now, whenever I have some free time, I shoot.
"So, today, I get to take pictures, meet and greet people I love. And although it's cloudy, it's still a great day," she said.
Ricardo Thornton, 43, agreed and said yesterday was dedicated to family, friends and community. The vice president of Project Action, a coalition of self-advocacy groups at the Kennedy Institute, he said he's always out in the community helping people with developmental disabilities learn to take care of themselves. …