Hearts of Yolo: Yolo County Community

Thursday, Sep 27, 2018

Thank you, Yolo County, for Creating 104 More Opportunities for Foster Kids

All photo credit:  Kelly Lynn Jordan, KLJ Studios

On September 9, 2018, Yolo County CASA hosted its annual dinner and auction. The event, Yolo County CASA’s largest annual fundraiser, raised enough money to provide 104 children in our foster care system with a CASA volunteer. “We are again reminded of the generosity of our community,” states Kirk Trost, Board President. “The outpouring of support really underscores our dedication as a whole to take care of kids in need.”

All proceeds from the auction will go toward training Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for foster children to provide them with consistent and stable relationships, and ensure that their voices are heard and their needs are met in the dependency system.  John Martin and Rafael Galiano again donated the use of their beautiful venue at Park Winters to Yolo County CASA’s annual dinner and auction. And the generosity didn’t stop there. Knowing that Yolo County CASA relies on private philanthropy and grants to survive, individuals and organizations from all over Yolo County stepped out to make this year’s auction the most successful yet.

Diamond Sponsors for the evening included Christopher and Sharon Steele and Park Winters.  Our Platinum Sponsors were Georgia and Jim Corbett, Davis Ace Hardware, First Northern Bank, Bob and Sandy Lorber, Richard Mandelaris, DMD, and Reed and Susan Youmans.

While this year’s event was the most successful dinner and auction to date for Yolo County CASA, there is more work to do than ever before,” states Tracy Fauver, Executive Director, “Our goal is to provide every foster child in Yolo County with a CASA volunteer, however, this goal is more challenging than ever because the amount of children in Yolo County’s Dependency System has dramatically increased in the last two years. There are now over 600 children in our foster care system.”

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are a critical resource for foster children. They form consistent and stable relationships with them through shared experiences and advocate for them in court, in school, and at home. Ashley, a former foster youth spoke about her experience with a CASA volunteer at the event, “When I was six years old, I heard my mom tell the police officer she didn’t want me back and I was placed in foster care. My CASA was my guardian angel and is still like a grandmother to me.”

Moved by Ashley’s story and several accounts of other experiences with CASA volunteers, members of the audience generously lifted their paddles to fund the capacity of Yolo County CASA. “The fund-a-need portion of the dinner and auction is so meaningful,” states Trost, “It’s where you see generosity at its core, with nothing in return but the satisfaction of knowing you helped to fund, or funded multiple CASA volunteers.”

As the evening came to a close, Fauver left the audience with an important message, “There are three things you can do to help us. One is to donate because we rely completely on private donations to run our organization so thank you for your generosity tonight. The next thing is to spread the word to anyone who you think will make a great CASA volunteer. And finally, if you’ve ever thought of becoming a CASA volunteer yourself, please consider it. We need more volunteers than ever before and it might be the most meaningful work you’ve ever done.”

Yolo County CASA currently has 150 trained volunteer advocates. Its next training starts in January. For more information, about the training or Yolo County CASA in general, please refer to www.yolocasa.org.

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