Monday, Mar 10, 2014
Williamson County Board Gives CASA Long-Term Funding
MARION -- The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program that represents abused and neglected children got an unexpected funding source. It comes at a time when other revenue sources are drying up.
"We'd like to present a $25,000 check to CASA of Williamson County," exclaims Williamson County Commissioner Ron Ellis.
It was an unexpected Christmas gift with a lot of impact, because the check is only one of many more to come.
"We all thought as a board, what better way to take something that is coming to us and to help these children," explains Jim Marlo, another county commissioner.
Every cent comes from gambling machines in local bars. While the new gaming law has its critics, Williamson County Board members want to make the best out of it.
"If you have a problem with us using some gaming revenue to help these poor children who don't get a fair shake in life, shame on you and that's your problem," says Commissioner Brent Gentry.
The CASA program is funded entirely through donations, with their biggest fundraisers being the Chuck Garnati Golf Scramble and the Casas for Casa event. But volunteers say they have been struggling financially.
"We've lost funding this year from businesses, from state funding, so it could not have come at a better time for us in order to have the program continue," explains board member Mindy Combs.
She says they help children in the worst of the worst cases of child neglect and abuse, and this new source of funding will ensure the program continues.
"Long after the three of us are no longer involved in this particular county board, because the money coming in from gambling will always be there, this is something that you guys can look at as a permanent funding source," says Ellis.
According to the CASA website, Williamson County had the fifth highest number of child neglect cases in 2012 based on population.
CASA is holding a new volunteer training session in March. Anyone interested in volunteering may call the CASA office at 998-2291.
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