Friends of CASA Luncheon fulfills wishes for children
CASA Children’s Fund pays for things a parent would; from science camp to school pictures
When Jazeel Flores needed a scientific calculator for her high school math class she couldn’t go home and ask her parents.
Living in foster care due to neglect and abuse in her family home, Flores instead turned to her CASA Advocate, Amy Harrington, who in turn went to her CASA Supervisor.
“The money was there for Jazeel’s calculator because of the CASA Children’s Fund,” said Juan Ascencio, Advocate Supervisor and Court Liaison for the local nonprofit. Ascensio quickly tapped the fund, and the calculator was purchased within the week. Flores is now a senior at UC Berkeley on a full scholarship.
“That’s what makes the CASA Children’s Fund so valuable,” says Amy Harrington, still advocating for Flores and a CASA Board member. “There is no paperwork, no bureaucracy, just a pool of money from the community to help children in the court’s dependency system have some of the same opportunities as other children.”
The fund has recently paid for science camp, a gym membership for a child battling obesity, dance classes, a high school yearbook, guitar lessons, and other things that most parents would happily pay for to support the health and well-being of their child. “In the case of our children, there is no parent to turn to,” Harrington says.
Each year the Friends of CASA holds a fundraising luncheon to replenish the Fund, which spends about $12,000 a year meeting the needs of the more than 200 children CASA serves annually.
The 2013 Friends Luncheon will be February 7 at Severino’s Grill in Aptos from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online at www.casaofsantacruz.org or by phoning Linda at 761-2956 ext. 106.
“The luncheon not only raises money for the Children’s Fund, it is an opportunity to hear the stories of our children and how the support of the community has made a difference in their lives,” Harrington said. “The program is brief, inspirational, and always heart-warming.”