May 15, 2014 at 11:42 AM
On Thursday May 8, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Morris and Sussex Counties (CASA) held its Give a Child a Voice fundraising gala at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park. The event honored longtime CASA ambassador and child advocate Mindy Beck, and celebrated 27 years of CASA bringing better tomorrows to the community’s most vulnerable children.
CASA’s mission is to speak up for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers work with the Family Court to help place each child in a safe, nurturing and permanent home.
Mindy Beck has championed this mission for nearly two decades. She was honored during the gala for her exceptional public service to children. A resident of Denville, she has been a CASA volunteer since 1997, and has advocated for 10 children over the last 17 years. It was in her home that the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) voted to start a CASA chapter in Morris county back in 1986. Beck currently serves on CASA of Morris and Sussex’s Advisory Board. The first foster child for whom she advocated attended the gala and spoke about the positive impact she had on his life.
At the event, New York Times Best Selling author Christina Baker Kline presented her newest book, orphan train, which tells a story of resilience and the search for family and home. The main characters mirror the youth served by CASA. Their uncertain futures and yearnings to belong are typical of many children in the foster care system.
First Lady of New Jersey, Mary Pat Christie, attended the gala to show her support for CASA and learn more about the plight of children in foster care.
More than 200 guests gathered for cocktails, dinner and a silent auction to support advocacy for children in foster care, and to honor leaders in the community who have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to Giving a Voice to our community’s most vulnerable children. Area businesses and local artists supported the silent auction by providing items and sharing their creative works.
“Our Give a Child a Voice Gala was an evening of energy and passion with members of the community coming together to make a difference. The money raised from this event will help bring children in the foster care system better tomorrows and brighter futures,” said CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties’ Executive Director, Dr. Lisa Barsky Firkser.
The funds raised will go directly to support CASA’s mission to recruit, train and supervise volunteers who provide a voice in court to assure each child a safe, permanent and nurturing home.
For more information about CASA, visit www.casamsc.org or call 973-998-7590.