For speaker after speaker, involvement with CASA of the Pikes Peak Region came about because "I am for the child."
The impact of those words was never lost during the 18th annual Light of Hope breakfast and lunch fundraisers April 25 at The Antlers hotel. More than 1,000 attended the meals, raising almost $350,000 to serve abused and neglected children with trained advocates.
Board chair DeeAnn Rothstein drew from her own life experiences that "every child deserves to have one adult they can trust."
CASA Advocate Roy Fulcher said he had retired from the Navy Reserves and was looking for new ways to serve. After training as an advocate he was assigned his first case. A baby. "I was not really a baby person," he said with a chuckle. It all changed with baby Gavin, whose teenage mother had been the victim of domestic violence. As is almost predictable, said Fulcher, she went back to Gavin's father over and over, even after the man "who loves me" tried to kill her. When the court ordered that the father could not see the baby, Gavin's mother disobeyed court orders and Gavin was taken away from her as well. Over time she saw that Fulcher was there for her son but for her as well, she said in a video, and he worked with her to insure that the two of them were a safe family unit.
Introduced as the new CASA executive director, as of February, was Angela Rose, who has been with the nonprofit since 2009. Most recently she was Director of Programs. She has always believed, said Rose, that "It should not hurt to be a child" and that it does indeed take a village to serve a child.
The CASA goal is to have an advocate for every child who needs one by 2020. There are 200 children on the waiting list.