It's the stretch run for CASA Kane County to hit the $1 million mark for an endowment fund, and officials hope a garden outside the Third Street Courthouse can help the group raise money and provide a place for court personnel and residents to relax and reflect.
Work on the 4,100-square-foot "Grow a Healthy Child Garden" on the courthouse's west side will begin July 1 and will take six to eight weeks to complete.
Gloria Bunce, executive director at CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, said officials wanted to provide a permanent legacy as part of its endowment campaign.
Combine CASA's mission of helping kids with creating a quiet reflection space, and it wasn't difficult to get people on board.
"Everybody can get their arms around it," she said. "When people hear our cause and what we do, people reach out."
Bunce said a large majority of the garden's design labor and materials were donated by several groups and companies, with large contributions from landscape architect Pamela Self and Bob Stell, owner of Evergreen Landscape, which has offices in St. Charles and Hampshire.
"We feel really fortunate. It's truly become a community project," added Vicki Shaw, CASA manager of Annual Giving.
Bunce said CASA Kane County will mark its 25th year in 2013 and officials hope garden sponsorships will help the group reach the $1 million mark for its Grow a Healthy Child Endowment.
That will trigger a $500,000 donation from the Dunham Fund, which pledged $100,000 and 40 cents for every $1 raised up to $1 million, or an additional $400,000. CASA has about $630,000 in pledges and donations so far and it needs to hit $1 million by the end of the year.
The group has about 220 Kane County volunteers who are everyday residents appointed by judges to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes because of parental abuse or neglect.
For more information on how to make a tax-deductible donation, call (630) 232-4484 or visit casakanecounty.org.