It’s hard to believe that summer is officially over.
These past few months have been ones for CASA’s record books, bringing so many wonderful things to our program and the children who benefit from it.
Here are some highlights of summer 2019 – one we’re going to build upon for summers to come.
An Evening in CASAblanca
On Thursday, September 19, our CASAblanca planning committee transformed a hangar at the Wyoming Valley Airport in Forty Fort into Rick’s Café Américain a la the classic film Casablanca.
If you were one of the more than 400 people in attendance, you can attest to the breathtaking décor, delicious food, the fabulousness of the hand-rolled cigars, the fun of the gaming tables, and the camaraderie of those aligned for one central mission: the foster children of Luzerne County.
Our fourth annual event, the CASAblanca gala aims to raise money for CASA of Luzerne County and bring awareness to the need right here in our community. There are currently more than 500 children in foster care in Luzerne County, and only 64 of those children have access to a volunteer advocate.
The support of every sponsor, donor, advertiser, guest, and volunteer ensures that we can continue our mission to provide a volunteer advocate for each and every child who needs one.
We can’t thank you enough for your support of CASA of Luzerne County and An Evening in CASAblanca and hope to see you at Rick’s again next year.
Camp at Hillside Farms
For a week in August, 14 of our CASA kids attended camp at Hillside Farms which was such a joy for them and for us.
During their time at camp, our kids had the chance to hear a presentation from local author Cecelia Galante on how she was able to overcome her own trauma and find a place of peace and self-love.
They worked with Misericordia University and Dr. Jennifer Dessoye’s team of Occupational Therapy graduate students. Under Dr. Dessoye’s guidance, our kids learned coping strategies, and how to identify and process their feelings.
The Hillside staff, including our very own volunteer advocate Suzanne Kapral, worked to make sure that the children had every opportunity to let their imaginations run wild, to explore the farm and care for the animals. They got dirty, ate ice cream, and formed necessary bonds with each other.
Hillside also facilitated fresh produce donations, brand new school backpacks, and even new school shoes for all of our kids who attended.
Camp week was a game changer for 14 of our children – who ranged in age from five to 17 – and showed them that a different life is possible.
We are still filled with gratitude for each and every person who made that transformative week possible.
The summer of 2019 also saw some big steps forward for our program itself. We assigned cases to the advocates from our spring 2019 training class, providing a voice to 14 additional children who have been waiting for someone to speak up for them.
We attended the high school graduation of a child who had been in our program since 2016.
We recruited 20 people for our fall training class which begins Wednesday. That’s 20 new people who are willing to be the one consistent, caring adult presence in the life of a child who’s experienced life-changing trauma in the form of abuse or neglect.
The staff at CASA of Luzerne County is so grateful to each and every person who makes this program possible. We cannot understate its need and cannot thank enough those who donate their time, talent, and funds to ensure it continues.
We can’t wait to share with you all the good that will come next!