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Thursday, October 29, 2020 11:22 PM
On Nov. 13, CASA of Kosciusko County will be hosting its 19th annual Holiday Festival fundraiser.
The live event will be held virtually at 7:30 p.m., with a live stream opening at 7 p.m. to give attendees a chance to check their connection. The event will include local speakers, including Stacey Gagnon from the Lost Sparrows organization. An online auction will be opening on Nov. 13, along with a Fund-a-Need opportunity to help raise funds for CASA.
This year’s theme is “Mountains of Challenges – Rivers of Hope – Help CASA Kids Navigate.” Guests who purchase individual tickets to the event will receive a box of specialty food items from local eateries to enjoy while watching the virtual event. Those that purchase a “watch-party for eight” will be given eight individual boxes of local artisan foods for their guests, including a charcuterie board which serves eight and wine to enjoy while watching the virtual event.
For more information on how to watch or support the 19th Annual CASA Holiday Festival, visit www.casachildren.com or call 574-372-2401.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Kosciusko County is a nonprofit organization committed to speaking for the best interest of children who are at risk for abuse and neglect. CASA recruits, trains and supports volunteers to serve as advocates for children in the family court system.
“The CASAs typically research the case, examine, advocate, facilitate and monitor the child’s situation so they can make a report to the court based solely on the best interests of the child. They are not only the eyes and ears of the judge but they are the voice for that child that may have never had a voice to advocate for them in the past,” said Erin Rowland Jones, executive director of CASA of Kosciusko County.
This year has been a challenge, but with help from the community, this year’s Holiday Festival is expected to raise over $100,000, according to a news release from CASA.
Demand for CASA is greater than ever and the cost associated to serve a single child can be more than $1,000 a year, while CASA volunteers save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars that might be used to hire such an advocate for the child. Support at this year’s event will enable CASA to continue training volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children and allow for the necessary tools needed for future volunteer recruitment and on-going supervision.
“While this year has shown us ‘Mountains of Challenges’ I have ‘Rivers of Hope’ that this wonderful community will continue to support CASA. Year to date, our 60 CASA volunteers donated over 4,000 hours of their time, which is amazing,” said Rowland Jones. “These children our CASAs work with have not only suffered abuse and/or neglect, but have been removed from their homes and often separated from their siblings. CASA provides a caring adult to be a constant in these times of tumult. This simple relationship, sometimes the only caring, healthy relationship that child has, can change a child’s life.”
CASA is grateful for the support of Silveus Insurance Group, The Downtown Eatery and Spirits, and Mr. & Mrs. Fred & Karen Rowland and event sponsors and partners including DePuy Synthes, Whimet Inc., ZimmerBiomet, Comcast Business, Lake City Bank, Paragon Medical, Mr. & Mrs. Andy & Lydia Church, Mr. & Mrs. David & Jacqueline Gustafson, Mr. & Mrs. Omer & Susan Kropf, Mr. & Mrs. Pete & Peggy Lieffring, Mr. & Mrs. Chris & Sarah McCray, Mr. & Mrs. Steven & Angie Ritchey, and Mr. & Mrs. Jon & Jill Serbousek.
CASA is a non-profit organization and is funded largely in part by local donors. Their mission, together with state and local members, is to support and promote court appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused or neglected child can be safe, establish permanence, and have the opportunity to thrive. If you would like more information on how to become a CASA volunteer, visit www.casachildren.com.
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