Voices For Children/CASA of Brazos Valley invites community members to attend the 11th Annual Art of Helping Children Dinner & Silent Auction on March 1. Attendees will join Voices For Children in honoring Dr. Kenneth Matthews as 2014 Champion For Children; Matthew Faulkner and Brian Gibbs with PACT Design Studio as 2014 Friends Of Children; and Judy Winn as 2014 Advocate For Children. This year’s Friend of Children award will also be commemorated as the Ronnie Jackson Friend of Children award in memory of long-time supporter and Voices For Children Board Member Ronnie Jackson, who passed away in 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Jackson himself was presented with this award in 2006 for his service in the community on behalf of youth and families.
“This event is a meaningful way to pay tribute to those in the community who are working tirelessly to make things better for abused and neglected children. In addition to that distinction, it serves as a wonderful showcase of our local artists’ talents and unique items that our community members have to offer,” said Art of Helping Children Event Co-Chair Melissa Tooley. The night includes dinner, a silent auction, and the awards program.
Voices For Children Executive Director Liana Lowey says the agency’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers served 242 abused and neglected children from Brazos, Burleson, and Grimes counties last year, navigating 80 through the often overburdened child welfare system and into permanent homes. “Eight children died from abuse or neglect while living in foster care last year. This startling fact is not reflective of Child Protective Service caseworkers’, foster parents’, or other child welfare professionals’ lack of caring for children and their safety, but simply a call for more CASA volunteers and financial support for CASA programs,” Lowey said. She added, “The CASA volunteer is the only entity in the court system that has just one child or sibling group to attend to, allowing for a much more individualized approach and the prevention of children falling through the cracks of the larger system.”
The Art of Helping Children event is one of the main fundraisers held annually in support of the CASA program. Items to be auctioned off in support of CASA include a guided duck hunt for four in Arkansas (valued at $2,400), a week stay at a villa in the region of Tuscany in Italy, paintings, photographs, jewelry, art of fine living packages (spa, fine dining, etc.), sculptures and more. Event tickets are $65 per person, with dinner by Global Event Group Catering the event. Tickets can be purchased at the Voices For Children/CASA office or online at vfcbazos.org, where featured items included in the auction can be previewed.
In addition to the silent auction and award presentations, Voices For Children will be holding a drawing for a David Gardner Couture pendant titled Liquid Heart, crafted in 18K yellow and white gold and more than 2 carats of diamonds. Tickets for a chance to win this beautiful jewelry, valued at $8,400 and donated by David and Julia Gardner, are $20 per chance or three chances for $50 can be purchased at the Voices For Children Office, 115 N. Main Street, Downtown Bryan, or the night of the event. The drawing will be held at the Art of Helping Children event, but you need not be present to win.