CASA Inspires $50,000 in Community Support

Diana Shields and Yvonne Hostler CASA Inspires $50000 in Community Support

LANCASTER, PA (May 15, 2014) - Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County held its second annual "I Am for the Child” Community Awareness Breakfast on Friday, April 25, 2014 at Casa di Fiori at the Inn at Leola Village.

The event raised $50,000.00 to date for CASA including onetime gifts and multi-year pledges.

"Fifty thousand dollars is a clear indication that this community supports CASA in facilitating safe, permanent and nurturing homes for children who have suffered abuse and neglect. For the second year running, I am overwhelmed by the support and energized by the continued community involvement in the CASA movement.” stated Jessica Laspino, CASA’s Executive Director.

Over 125 attendees enjoyed a complimentary continental breakfast and a short, but powerful program.

The clear highlights of the program were the life stories shared by Yvonne Hostler and Diana Shields. Both young women were removed from their homes when they were girls. They each shared the impact of having a CASA in their lives during an extremely tumultuous and unsettling time.

Ms. Shields was open about the difficulty of being removed from her home. "I hated where I was placed and I cried for the first three months. But my CASA listened and was patient,” said Ms. Shields.

"I was no one’s first choice until my CASA stepped into my life,” stated Ms. Hostler. She continued by sharing how much it meant to her to have an adult volunteer listen to her and advocate for her at a time when it seemed like no one cared.

The audience also saw an excerpt from the independently produced video "ReMoved,” created by Nathaneal Matanick. Winner of numerous short film awards, "ReMoved” is the gripping story of a young child’s journey through the foster care system.

Jessica Laspino, CASA Executive Director, addressed the audience with obvious passion and a challenge to provide a CASA for every child. "It is our responsibility to ensure that every child has a consistent, compassionate, trained adult who will champion without compromise for what is in his best interest and we can do it but we need you to help.”

CASA provides court appointed advocacy for children by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family. CASA offers many opportunities to be involved in supporting children. Learn more about CASA at www.casalancaster.org or email casa@casalancaster.org.

Photo caption: Diana Shields (L) and Yvonne Hostler were the highlights of CASA's "I Am For the Child" Breakfast. Each shared candidly about the difficulties of being removed from their homes and the positive impact of having a CASA.

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