Leaders, Celebrities and a United Stance Against Domestic Violence
Sept 27, 2014, St. Petersburg, FL | Nearly 200 attendees packed the ballroom at the Inaugural CASA Gala fundraiser event on Saturday, September 27, 2014. National leaders and celebrities spoke about their personal experiences confronting domestic violence. The event raised over $100,000 towards CASA's Justice Advocacy, Community Outreach and Peacemakers Prevention Programs.
Among the luminaries present were keynote speaker Frank Biden, Governor Charlie Crist, Carole Crist, David Lauren, Mindy Grossman and Linda Osmundson. Celebrities and philanthropists Taylor Dayne, George Hamilton, Sam Heller, David Rancourt, Lauren Sturges-Fernandez, Nicole Worthington and Jill Zarin also played key roles in planning and delivering an immensemly successful night.
"I'm overwhelmed by the support we received for CASA's inaugural gala," said Carole Crist, the gala's lead organizer. "The way our community came together truly exceeded our expectations. We are so grateful to be able to help raise awareness of domestic violence and to support CASA in helping women live free from fear and full of hope. And we're looking forward to continued success in the 2015 gala and in the years to come."
The evening help to fund two major branches of CASA's work:
Justice Outreach & Community Outreach
CASA advocates offer assistance and support to survivors as they apply for injunctions for protection at Clerk of Court offices, provide support to survivors in criminal court proceedings and refer victims to legal services as needed.
CASA advocates make an effort to reach out to the elderly, deaf and communities of color to bridge logistical and cultural issues related to domestic abuse.
In the past year, 2,599 survivors were helped through CASA’s Outreach Programs. 413 support group sessions were provided.
Peacemakers Prevention Program
Team members work directly with Pinellas County schools and preschools to present five to nine week programs focused on diversity, peaceful communication, and to teach that violence is never the answer.
The young program graduates leave with a renewed sense of respect for themselves and others. The teachers find that the program helps create a more peaceful learning environment with students increasing their social and problem solving skills after receiving the program.
The Preschool and Kindergarten program works in collaboration with The Haven of RCS and R’Club Child Care, Inc.
Over the last 12 months, 6,632 school children participated in the 706 Peacemaker Program Presentations given.
CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) has a vision of a community without domestic violence, so that home is a safe place. It's mission is to raise our voices against violence through advocacy, empowerment and social change.