(COLUMBIA, SC, September 9, 2021) – Early on, Charles and Elizabeth Kinney noticed their daughter Ellington was missing developmental milestones. Eventually Ellington was diagnosed with a very rare genetic neurological condition, KCNQ3. Due to this condition, Ellington has global developmental delays, cortical visual impairment, and autism. 

The Kinney family is serving as Ambassadors for Family Connection of South Carolina’s annual LOOK! Photography Exhibit—a collection offering an inspiring glimpse into the lives of children and young people who have a disability or chronic health condition. To create the exhibit, professional photographers from across the state volunteered their time to host photo sessions with more than 60 families who have received services from the organization. Annually, Family Connection serves more than 3,000 families across South Carolina.

“Our greatest joys in our journey as Ellington’s parents have been watching her growth and success as she works so hard to build the skills we had previously taken for granted” says Elizabeth Kinney. “In addition, the experience of building a community of people who support Ellington and our family has been critical. We feel so fortunate to have connected with Family Connection and with other families within the special needs community. We are honored to serve as the LOOK! Ambassador Family.”

The 2021 LOOK! Exhibit will be presented for the first time at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 12th via a virtual watch party at www.Facebook.com/FamilyConnectionofSouthCarolina.The exhibit is on display to the public in the Upstairs Gallery of the Koger Center for the Arts through October. Appointments to view the exhibit are required and may be made by calling 803-777-7500.

“We are delighted to bring LOOK! to the Koger Center!” said Amy Holbert, CEO of Family Connection. “This exhibit speaks to our values of creating inclusion, equity, and community. The intent of LOOK! is to highlight the beauty and unique abilities of the child being photographed. We hope those who view the exhibit will take a moment to reflect and see the joy in everyday moments as experienced by these children and youth who also happen to be living with a disability,” added Holbert.

“The Koger Center for the Arts is thrilled to partner with Family Connection of South Carolina to host the LOOK! photography exhibit in the Upstairs Gallery” said Simms Oliphant, Development and Community Relations Coordinator. “The Koger Center continually strives to provide an inclusive home for all of the arts, and the LOOK! exhibition exemplifies this mission as a showcase honoring the unique personalities, dreams, and goals of children and youth living with disabilities.” 

LOOK! 2021 is sponsored by Life Changer Sponsor: The Rosenbaum Family. Additional sponsors include Healthy BlueSM, BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Willoughby & Hoefer–Attorneys at Law, Palmetto Pediatrics, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, Bright Start LLC, Richland/Lexington Disabilities and Special Needs Board, B106.7 FM and HealthLinks Magazine. Photo and print sponsor is Apex Graphics. Venue sponsor is Koger Center for the Arts.

About Family Connection of South Carolina

For more than 30 years, Family Connection of South Carolina has been changing lives by making connections, raising awareness, and promoting inclusion for those with disabilities and chronic health conditions. We offer programs and services to ensure that parents, professionals, and caregivers have access to resources to help their children reach their full potential. Our work focuses on five key areas: peer-to-peer support, healthcare, education, training, and advocacy. For more information visit www.familyconnectionsc.org or call 800-578-8750.

Funds raised from LOOK! 2021 support Family Connection’s programs and services for children and families.