TERRELL – Rockwall and Kaufman County residents who have helped abused and neglected children and served as their voices in court will be honored by Lone Star CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) at their “Denim and Diamonds – Justice is Served” fajita dinner, April 13, 5-9 pm, at Shadow Ridge Farm, 12198 Shadow Ridge Ln. in Terrell TX 75161.
Rockwall and Kaufman County judges, district attorneys, sheriffs, and other public officials will be greeters and servers at the event catered by Carmona’s from Terrell, with entertainment provided by Captain Bud. The silent auction begins at 5 pm and the dinner and program begins at 6:30 pm.
Tickets cost $50 per person and can be purchased at the CASA offices, 209 N. Washington St. in Kaufman and 108 Kenway in Rockwall, from CASA Board members and Denim and Diamond Committee members.
For information about purchasing tickets, becoming an event sponsor and providing silent auction items or donations, call Event Chair Gay Becker at 214-543-1464, the CASA office at 972-772-5858 or visit: www.lonestarcasa.org.
Sponsors include TheRockwallNews.com, Brashear Family Medical, Adfinity.biz, LakePointe Church, Laser Image, Inc., Hal & Karen Hutchins, Congressman Ralph Hall, Avery Realty Group, Griffin Jones & Family, Terrell Bingo. American National Bank, Tom Anderson DDS, TCB Construction Group and Mortgage Marketing Corp.
According to Lone Star CASA Executive Director Lucille Bell, CASA is a national volunteer movement that began in the late 1970s which provides trained community volunteers to serve as voices and advocates in court for abused and neglected children.
These non-paid Court Appointed Special Advocates™ (CASA) provide judges and other criminal justice professionals with the detailed information they need to safeguard the children’s best interests and ensure that they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.
“CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family,” said Bell.
In 2012 she said there were 146 children in Rockwall and Kaufman County in the court system who had a CASA Advocate. There were not enough CASA volunteers for 50 children so more are needed. With a CASA volunteer, a child is half as likely to languish in the foster care and child welfare system, and that much more likely to find a safe, permanent home.
“The mission of Lone Star CASA is to provide trained community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children in Rockwall and Kaufman Counties who come into the court system, primarily as a result of abuse or neglect.” said Bell.
“In support of this vision and mission, Lone Star CASA recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteers to serve as Guardians ad Litem for children. Lone Star CASA promotes and enhances mutual coordination and communication among foster parents, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the biological families of foster children in Rockwall and Kaufman Counties.”
The first CASA program established in Texas was Dallas CASA in 1980. During that decade, 14 CASA programs were started in Texas.
Today, the CASA movement has evolved into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country. In Texas, there are 69 local CASA programs with more than 7,000 volunteers serving 22,000 foster children.
By J.J. Smith