CASA to hold open house Oct. 29
Since 1993, one local organization has worked to find safe homes for 1,321 abused and neglected children in Williamson County.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, Williamson County CASA (WCCASA) is inviting the public to commemorate 20 years of community service at their first-ever open house, from 5-7 p.m. at 1164 Columbia Avenue in downtown Franklin.
In addition to wine provided by Harvest Beverage Company and hor d’oeuvres provided by Constant Craving Caterers, partygoers will have a chance to meet members of the WCCASA staff, some of its 70-plus volunteer force, and individuals who were instrumental in the organization’s foundation.
Special guests anticipated to participate include the Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Jim Henry, as well Judge Jane C. Franks—a figure who has been an important friend to the non-profit since its beginning.
“CASA is very dear to my heart. Back when I was on the bench, we didn’t have anything like it,” Judge Franks said. “We had such a need, and when we heard that the CASA program might be available to us, the whole staff went for that opportunity.
“I can’t tell you how the fortunate counties are that have CASAs to work with children.”
Franks served as the only General Sessions and Juvenile Court judge in Williamson County for almost 20 years. She says that over the last two decades, the non-profit has become a vital tool for the court.
“The CASA program has helped to create an atmosphere of trust not only between the court system and the lawyers who represent the children, but among children as well,” she said. “I can’t sing the praises of CASA enough. And an organization is only as good as the people involved.”
CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, trains members to work with guardian ad litems as advocates for children within the court system.
Franks’ daughter-in-law, Rhonda Franks, is one WCCASA volunteer. Since 2009, WCCASA’s volunteer force has doubled.
“We have dedicated, trained people who devote an incredible amount of hours to these cases. Our open house will not only celebrate CASA, it will also celebrate these volunteers,” said Marianne Schroer, WCCASA Executive Director. “We hope that many will come to learn more about our organization, and to talk with those who are making a daily impact on our community.”
In addition to Schroer, WCCASA has two staff members: Danielle McMorran, director of development and public relations; and Audrey Freshwater, advocate supervisor. The non-profit also has a full-time Americorps Vista, Sydni Bailey.
Posted on: 10/24/2013