The staff at CASA-Children Worth Saving, Inc. didn't know what to expect at their Chocolate Dreams fundraiser last year.
The staff at CASA-Children Worth Saving, Inc. didn't know what to expect at their Chocolate Dreams fundraiser last year. In fact, they set their sights low and hoped for the best. But, much to their delight, the live and silent auction brought in nearly $7000, and all of it went toward assisting abused, neglected and delinquent children in the Juvenile Court system in Ford, Gray, Clark, Meade, Kiowa and Comanche counties. Kristin Hines, executive director for CASA, said the goal for this year's fundraiser is to make $10,000. To reach their mark, Hines and the CASA board of directors will treat fundraiser guests to a chocolate fountain, hors d'ouevrs and the acoustic stylings of a musician from Spearville named Michael Benish. Not to mention a mile-long list of gift baskets, services, tickets to sporting events and even plane tickets that will be up for auction. "There will be things at all price ranges as well as items for men and women," Hines said. The silent auction, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., will be ran in two rounds and will offer bidders the chance to win massages, gift certificates to area restaurants and gift baskets of various themes. "We have one basket that is a Gorilla Glue gift set," Hines said. The live auction will feature a KU basketball signed by this year's mens team, chocolate pearl jewelry embellished with diamonds, a professionally framed print of a painting by Medicine Lodge artist Earl Kuhn, and a K-STATE football signed by head coach Bill Snyder. "Everything people spend is going to a good cause," Hines said. "It's a great evening to come out, have a good time and mingle, even if you're not planning to bid." The "good cause" Hines mentioned is clearly illustrated by the mission of CASA; to advocate for children in the local court system so they have a voice. And that voice is given through volunteers who serve as court appointed special advocates and work with the non-profit to give a child undivided attention and advocate for their needs in the court system. By giving their time and expertise, CASA volunteers are an effective toll in the judicial process and help children to know there is someone there just for them in the court process. Part of the money raised at Chocolate Dreams will go toward the cost of training the volunteers, who each attend 30 hours of formal instruction. The money will also go toward services for the abused and neglected children in the CASA program. "We make sure any child that is referred to the program gets the services they need," Hines said. Last year, CASA served 75 children in southwest Kansas. "We chose the name 'Chocolate Dreams' because anyone who attends will be helping to give children their dream of a safe, permanent and loving home," Hines said. IF YOU GO What: Chocolate Dreams When: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Doors open at 7 p.m. Where: Knights of Columbus Hall, 800 West Frontview Street, Dodge City. Cost: Tickets bought in advance are $25 and can be purchased at the CASA office in Dodge City, Dave's Pizza Oven in Coldwater, D & B Pharmacy in Ashland, First National Bank in Cimarron, Fowler State Bank in Meade, Main Street Flowers in Greensburg. Tickets will be available for $30 at the door. More information: Contact Kristin Hines at (620) 225-1278 or visit the CASA office at 2008 1st Ave., Suite 806, Dodge City.