9th Annual Evening to Foster Dreams – Virtual Gala – CASA LA – May 13, 2021

Casa of Los Angeles does such great work, I am so happy to be a supporter and be able to talk about this wonderful event.

I was sent a fun swag bag, full of lovely gifts and then tuned into the Gala. Always I am wanting to lend support I bid on 2 nice size silent auction items that I won, so for me giving to this amazing cause and then being able to take something away is everything.

Help CASA/LA ensure that every child in the child welfare system receives the support and vital services they need to have the opportunity to thrive.

Ashley and Topher Grace did a fine entertaining job of hosting this event. They never seemed to lose any energy throughput the telecast. This year they are honoring Erin Foster, Peter Gianinni, Jacqueline Dolan, and Larry Gilson.

See list of Benefactors, Advocates, Advocates plus, Ally plus, Ally, Friends, Sponsors, and Media sponsors.

Harriet Zaretsky and Steve Henry
Martha and Bruce Karsh
Carolyn and Lou Lucido
Cathy and Larry Gilson
Susie and Bruce Herron
Dr. Wendy Smith and Barry Meyer
Deena and Ed Nahmias
Johnny Carson Foundation
Judy and Tom Beckmen
Beverly Hills Rotary
Build-A-Bear Foundation
Mary and Jean Dekernion
Jacqueline Dolan
Selman Breitman LLP
The Western Project
Jennifer Hinman
Pacific Premier Bank
Tito’s Vodka
Marilyn and Steve Bloom
Klopert & Ravden LLP
Lori Kozak
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Anna and Ray Randall
California Community Foundation
City National Bank
Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato
Preferred Bank
Alicia Miñana and Robert Lovelace
Optimist Studios
Emma Ludbrook
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
Allyson Pfeifer
Elizabeth Zaillian
Pat Trendacosta
Reyes Coca Cola Bottling
The Office of Supervisor Hilda L. Solis
The Office of Supervisor Kathryn Barger
Central City Association
Elizabeth and Glen Friedman
Stephanie Luh
Dayna Rodriguez
Jean and Robert Youngquist
Renne and Bruce Bilson
Sally Howell
Glenn Jaffe
Andrew Goldberg and Dr. Andrea Kasowitz
Haptor Barrett
Erica Hanson and Ike Barinholtz
Daniel Bruckner
Marilyn Kading Martinez
Joan and Marshall August
Los Angeles Magazine
Hope Family Wines

I can’t wait for this event to be back at The Beverly Hilton next year, but for now super happy with this great virtual Gala.

CASA of Los Angeles

About CASA LA:

CASA of Los Angeles improves the lives of children in the dependency system by pairing them with trained volunteer advocates.

Nowhere in the nation is the problem greater than in Los Angeles County, where 30,000 children who have been abused or neglected are under the jurisdiction of the Dependency Court. One-third of these children are age 0-5; infants and toddlers are the fastest growing group of abused children. CASA/LA provided one-on-one advocacy to 1,124 children in FY2018, in addition to 3,276 children with day-of-court assistance through Shelter Care.

CASA/LA alleviates the feelings of abandonment and alienation that scar these young lives by harnessing the compassion and generosity of caring adults who can and do have an enormous impact on the development of the child at all ages. The genius of the CASA model is that it effectively capitalizes on a huge reservoir of caring by mobilizing it in service to children. CASA makes the crucial connection—one caring adult to one child in need—that can be the turning point in a life that has been disrupted. Our most significant accomplishments happen every day—when an overlooked opportunity is found, a service is secured or an adult connection is made that will help to keep a child safe and give him or her an opportunity to succeed in life.

The volunteers get to know the children and their circumstances, show them that someone cares, advocate for their best interests (including making recommendations to the Court), encourage them to grow to their fullest potential, and become involved in key issues in their life, especially permanent placement, and school, health, and mental health issues.

A CASA volunteer is often the sole consistent adult anchor for foster children. Children frequently remark how important it are to them that these tireless advocates are the only people in “the system” who are not paid to assist them. CASA volunteers give a voice to a child who cannot speak up for herself or himself and are frequently viewed as mentors or guides.

Judges typically assign CASA volunteers their most difficult and complex cases: children with prior maltreatment or contact with child welfare, cases of extreme abuse or neglect, or those where there is a great level of risk of further abuse and neglect. Many children assigned to CASA have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and significant emotional and mental health problems.

Children in the dependency court system face substantial obstacles in receiving the basic care that all children need: emotional support, parental guidance, and a stable and loving caregiver. More than that, they often lack appropriate education and vocational training, medical care, and the counseling they need to grow into productive adults.

Many children remain in foster care for years, and are moved around to many different placements. Studies have demonstrated that children who have experienced abuse and neglect are at significantly higher risk for academic failure, chronic delinquency, homelessness, adult criminal behavior, antisocial personality, and addictions. Moreover, as a child’s length of time in and out-of-home care increases, the probability of such negative outcome increases. CASA volunteers are instrumental in shortening the time that the child is in the dependency system (achieving either re-unification or adoption), while simultaneously assuring that the child’s needs are met.

The CASA program is a proven, reliable and economic model of support that has meant the difference between success and failure in thousands of children. Many more children would thrive if they had the intensive intervention of a CASA volunteer.

CASA of Los Angeles is a member of the National CASA Association and the California CASA Association.


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