CASA of Middlesex County invites you to Toast 2020, to be held on Sunday, September 20, 2020 from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Steakhouse 85 in New Brunswick. This year’s event honors the Founder, President and CEO of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ), John E. Harmon Sr., IOM. Toast 2020 is an opportunity to mingle with community leaders, enjoy a champagne brunch, participate in a silent auction and learn how Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) help children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect and are now in an out-of-home placement. If necessary due to COVID-19, the event will be held virtually.


Every year in New Jersey, about 30,000 child victims of abuse or neglect get help from the child welfare system. More than 2,000 of these children are removed from their homes and become part of an overburdened family court system. Last year, CASA had resources to serve 157 of the several hundred children in need.


Unfortunately, many children in foster care have little stability in their lives. They may experience changes with family connections, homes, schools, friends, and even caseworkers.  A CASA volunteer may be their only constant while in foster care. Many children without CASAs are left trying to navigate their way through the system as one of thousands, only having their basic needs met, until they are permanently placed in a home or age out of the foster care system.  

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With your help we can train more advocates and speak up for more children.


“This event is our primary fundraiser…It is an uplifting event where you can learn more about CASA, or simply enjoy a social afternoon champagne toast and help us raise funds for children in need” said Suzanne M. Sicora-Ludwig, Vice Chair, CASA of Middlesex County Board. 


Funds raised from Toast 2020 help to recruit, train, and support volunteer advocates. CASA advocates go through extensive training before they are paired with a child or sibling group and annual continued education to stay current on issues impacting children.  Though state agencies ensure the child’s basic needs are met, CASAs are trained to gather well-being information and report to the family court judge to help a child thrive.


The Toast is an exciting event where we recognize a leader from the community whom consistently displays an exuberant compassion toward helping children; in making a difference from the ground up to support them and provide opportunities for positive growth” said Sicora-Ludwig.

This year, CASA of Middlesex County will honor John E. Harmon, Sr. Founder, President and CEO of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) for his advocacy towards equity, fairness, and inclusion of African American businesses in private and public sectors. AACCNJ’s mission to is to economically empower and sustain African American communities and businesses through entrepreneurship and capitalistic initiatives throughout the state of New Jersey and through its partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (NBCC). AACCNJ bridges the gap to resources and opportunities that help minority owned businesses grow and achieve their goals and objectives. Harmon holds numerous board member and leadership positions and is recognized at the local, state, and national levels. Among the many boards he serves on are the Junior Achievement of New Jersey, New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, Opportunity New Jersey, Better Choices Better Care NJ, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He was acknowledged in South Jersey Journal’s list of the “Twenty-five Most Influential African-Americans in New Jersey four years in a row 2016-2019.

Additionally, the late William Hamilton, Jr., will be recognized at the event for his exceptional contributions to CASA of Middlesex County as a Board Member, donor, and friend.

To purchase tickets, visit To inquire about event sponsorships, ad journal opportunities and silent auction donations, email