Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Speakeasy inspired event helps KCK abused kids

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- A casual speakeasy-inspired evening of food, music, fun and fundraising will help CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) serve local abused and neglected children who are under court protection. 

The Hops & Barley Ball to benefit CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties will be held from 6:30 -10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at the Dark Horse Distillery, 11740 W. 86th Terrace, in Lenexa, Ks.

The Prohibition Era-themed Hops & Barley Ball will feature an open bar of Dark Horse liquor, beer and wine; dining stations; live swing jazz music by Tim Whitmer & the KC Express; a silent auction; and prize drawing. There also will be a giving tree on site for guests to directly contribute to the program by sponsoring a CASA child.

The Hops & Barley Ball will raise funds to train and support more CASA volunteers to advocate for the dramatically increased number of abused/neglected children under court protection in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. Through contact with the child, family members, and other interested parties, a CASA volunteer provides critical information to the Judge, so the best possible decisions can be made regarding where that child should live and what medical, educational, and therapeutic services they need.

Studies show that children assigned a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) are far less likely to be re-abused and far more likely to find a safe, permanent home. For the past two years, 95 percent of children with a CASA volunteer had not re-entered the Johnson or Wyandotte County courts.

While 413 abused and neglected children had 170 special friends by their side as they navigated the child welfare and court system last year, that is only one third of the children under court protection. CASA’s goal is for every child to have a CASA volunteer to serve as their voice and advocate in court.

Although each case is different, a CASA volunteer usually spends about 10 hours a month meeting with the child, speaking with others involved, and attending meetings or court hearings. Hours are flexible and can be completed within the limits of even the most hectic schedule. There is no need for any special skills or education – just a background check, training, and a heart for helping children.

Critically important to funding volunteer training, the Hops & Barley Ball is presented by Performance Contracting Group. Lead sponsors are Black & Veatch, Lentz Clark Deines, Lockton Companies, and UMB Bank.

Additional sponsors include Arvest Bank, Country Club Bank, EnerSys, Financial Advisory Service, First National Bank, First Watch Restaurants, Grant Thornton, Greater Kansas City Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae, KC Cause, Lee Jeans, Oldcastle Materials, Precision Printing, Schlimmer Law, Smith & Loveless, The Bessenbacher Co., and Village West Discount Liquors.