Every child deserves a loving, nurturing and stable family. Unfortunately, there are many children who live in fear in an unsafe environment. It is through a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) that a childâ€™s voice can be heard and the hope of positive change is restored. These children need powerful voices to speak for them. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they donâ€™t get lost in the legal and social service system.
Non-profit organizations cannot operate on hope alone. Which is why CASA has partnered with St. James Court Association to help provide a voice in court for abused children. The annual preview party features forty select St. James artists in a relaxed comfortable environment at the historic Henry Clay. I had the opportunity to sit down with CASA volunteer Dawn Hockenbury to find out more about the upcoming event.
Lori Kommor: The St. James Art Show is one of the most anticipated arts and fine crafts show that hosts over 750 artists from North America held in the heart of historic Old Louisville. CASA has partnered with St. James for a preview party held on the eve of the event. Can you share with us the details of the event?
Dawn Hockenbury: CASA is so pleased to be partnering with the St. James Art Show again. The preview party will be held on the evening of Thursday, October 3rd, at the Henry Clay, 604 South 3rd Street from 6-9 p.m. Exceptional works of favorite local artists as well as artists from around the country will be available for purchase before they are displayed to the general public at the show beginning the next day. A portion of all sales will benefit CASA.
KOMMOR: There are only forty artist selected to be featured for the preview party. Can you give us insight on how the artists are selected?
HOCKENBURY: Artists are juried by the St. James Court Association and its partners. Accepted artists are extended the invitation to participate in the preview party. The committee works to find artists of different genres and price points so that there will be something that appeals to everyone who attends.
KOMMOR: Every child deserves a safe and loving family. As a CASA volunteer you are empowered by the courts to be a childâ€™s voice. Can you share with us what it means to bring positive change to a childâ€™s life?
HOCKENBURY: CASAâ€™s mission is to train and support volunteers who provide a voice for abused and neglected children in the court system.
As expressed by CASA volunteer Judy Metcalf, who has advocated for children since June 2011, sometimes it means the introduction of new role models who can demonstrate to a child that abusive and neglectful parenting is not the norm. Sometimes CASA volunteers show the child what it is like to live without fear for the first time in his or her life. Sometimes we introduce the child to the concepts of self-worth and pride through praise of even the smallest accomplishments. Sometimes we introduce the child to adults who actually listen to them and care about what they say. And sometimes CASA volunteers bring a positive change to a childâ€™s life by giving them hope that someone will love them and take care of them, and that their future is something to look forward to.
KOMMOR: Are there still tickets available for the event? If so, what is the cost and where can they be purchased?
HOCKENBURY: Advance general admission tickets are available for $125 per person and can be purchased at casarr.org/events or by phone at 502-400-8040. Admission includes a cocktail buffet, open bar, and shopping in a relaxed environment.