To the editor:
On Friday, March 31, a large group of people gathered at the Benton Civic Center to support and celebrate a local organization. The annual Gala for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Franklin County was a sold-out event that raised funds for an organization dedicated to serving children in our area who have been the victims of physical or sexual abuse or general neglect.
The main function of our advocates is to support a child or children during their entire journey through our juvenile court system with the goal of assuring a placement in a secure and loving home. The fact that the advocate stays with the child as the one person who does not change or leave during the process gives an element of stability for that child that is very important in the youngster's time of crisis.
The evening was a great success in helping CASA achieve the financial support it needs to be effective in its mission. CASA receives no state funding but instead relies on the generosity of those in our community who support us.
The evening of fun, food and inspiration was created by many individuals who planned, decorated, prepared food, and joined to perform to entertain us. But the real heroes of the night were all of you who attended in support of kids who need you during the worst time of their young lives. Words can't express the appreciation we all have for your willingness to share your time and money to help this vital program succeed.
When our guests heard one of our kids, Kaitlyn Milligan, speak to her experience with CASA, we believe everyone who was there had to be personally gratified to think, "Hey, I am a part of this." You most certainly are, and so are so many others who may have not been there that evening, but continue to support CASA with their time and money. This fundraiser and our golf outing (first Friday after Labor Day) allow our public to send the message to kids in crisis that there are people watching out for them.
Once again, we thank you all.
Board Members, CASA of Franklin County