Cass County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children) hosted its 10th annual dinner and auction Friday, June 24, at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Edwardsburg, Michigan. Auction chairs this year were Denise Wierman, Beth Cripe, and Leslie Paul with assistance from the CASA board, volunteer advocates, and staff. Approximately 175 people attended this year’s event. A delicious prime rib and broasted chicken dinner was catered by Faulkner’s Catering. Beer and wine was again donated by KB Village Express, Phillips 66 in Cassopolis. The program was held in the church’s social hall. A Friends of CASA reception hosted by the Honorable Susan L. Dobrich preceded the dinner and auction in the church reception area. This year’s auction featured 11 live items, one raffle, and the “call to the heart,” pure donations to help the program train new volunteers to be a voice for abused and neglected children in foster care.
This year’s fundraiser was very successful with net income in excess of $55,000. Judge Dobrich talked about the unique need for child advocates and the importance of a CASA voice for a child. She mentioned that over 80 children have been removed and placed in foster care in the last three months primarily due to the increased use of prescription drugs, opioids, and methamphetamines. Special guest Leeza, in foster care at age five, now 25, talked about her life as a child of pain, addiction, and abuse and the difference her CASA advocate made and their special relationship 20 years later.
The CASA Board would like to thank everyone who participated in this successful event. We appreciate the generosity of our community and their willingness to support such a worthy cause. Cass County CASA was started by the Honorable Susan Dobrich of the Cass County Family Court in 1995. CASA is a not-for-profit agency of trained volunteers from the community who are appointed by the judge to advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care. If you are interested in learning more about being a volunteer advocate or a board member, contact Director, Jim Ward, at 269.445.4431, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.casscocasa.org.