CASA of Houston County -- that stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate -- will host its third annual golf tournament Sept. 14 at Houston Lake Country Club in Perry. The golf scramble format will have a shotgun start at noon followed by a scoreboard party at 4:30 p.m. Registration for the tournament is 11-11:45 a.m. that day. Individual entry is $80, and a four-person team is $320. The fee includes green fee, cart and food. Groups of fewer than four registering will be paired with other players. You may sign up online at http://casaofhoustoncountry.org/golf2012.htmil. Also, contact Judi Lingenfelter at (478) 396-4241 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information about entering the tournament or available sponsorships. Proceeds from the tournament support the work of the CASA organization locally.
CASA of Houston County Inc. recruits, trains, supervises and retains culturally responsive volunteers to advocate for the best interest of deprived children in Houston County, one child at a time according to its mission statement. They help abused or neglected children in the effort to lift up a childs voice, a childs life. CASA is the only national organization of volunteer advocates trained to speak as independent voices in a courtroom situation for the childs best interest. The U.S. Department of Justice has recognized CASA as a model program and views it as a safety net for abused and neglected children.
Back in 1989, there were two state pilot CASA programs in Georgia. Three years later in 1991, Houston County CASA was formed under the jurisdiction of Judge Herb Wells. Juvenile Court clerk and local resident Sandra McGowan began spreading the word through civic organizations to introduce and promote the mission of CASA. In 2002, CASA of Houston County attained independent, nonprofit 501©3 status under the jurisdiction of Judge Deborah Edwards.
The numbers are significant in telling the story of just how CASA advocacy affects children in Houston County. The judge-appointed volunteers watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children to make certain they do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social services, or languish in an inappropriate group or foster homes. The volunteer stays with each individual case until there is permanency established, many times being the sole adult who cares for only them.
In the 2012 fiscal year, 106 children were served in Houston County by CASA representing 862 donated hours in advocacy.
More than 8,766 miles were driven by the 40 volunteer advocates. The types of cases included physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness and emotional abuse. Girls and boys of Caucasian, African-American and Latino ethnic origin were served in cases that often resulted in adoption, guardianship and reunification.
A powerful voice in a childs life is the CASA motto throughout the 48 affiliates in the state of Georgia.
To learn more about the advocacy that has helped millions of abused children since CASAs inception in 1977, visit www.gacasa.org or www.casaforchildren.org.
Marsha Priest Buzzell is the executive director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau and may be reached at (478) 922-5100 or email@example.com.