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Article posted: 12/22/2012 11:23 AM

Help CASA Kane County to raise money for grant

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CASA Kane County has only days left to raise $250,000 to meet a $100,000 challenge grant from the Dunham Fund. Every dollar raised up to the $250,000, CASA Kane County will receive 40 cents on the dollar to support the organization's Program and Operational Endowment Fund.

Last year, the Dunham Fund awarded a $500,000 grant to CASA Kane County in support of its Grow a Healthy Child Endowment Campaign. The first $100,000 was an outright gift to the campaign. The additional $400,000 was a challenge grant to be awarded as CASA Kane County worked toward its goal of building a $1,000,000 endowment.

In order to fulfill the challenge grant, the organization became creative -- holding a concert at a private estate this summer, and building a garden at the entrance of the historic courthouse in Geneva. The garden raised funds by offering naming opportunities to donors. Naming opportunities are still available, and all proceeds from this project will go toward the Endowment Fund, and will be eligible for the match if purchased by Monday, Dec. 31.

"The final stretch of the campaign is upon us," stated Gloria Bunce, executive director. "The endowment funding is important to help ensure that every abused and neglected child in Kane County is appointed a trained volunteer."

CASA Kane County does not receive state or federal funding, and must raise its entire $1 million budget from private donations and grants.

Beyond our child advocacy walls, what does talk of fiscal cliff specifically mean for nonprofit organizations such as CASA Kane County and why is it more imperative than ever to have a reserve?

According to many financial advisers, the fiscal cliff poses real danger, and immediate action must be taken to influence the outcome for nonprofits to survive. Financial advisers are urging nonprofits to begin taking action steps to secure the future of their programs.

The CASA program has been taking proactive approaches for the past few years to make certain that every child who comes into abuse and neglect court is appointed a CASA/GAL volunteer, ensuring their best interests are represented and their voices are heard. One of these proactive approaches has been the establishment of its Program and Operational Endowment Fund.

CASA Kane County is relying on community support to raise the final $250,000 needed to reach its goal. If you'd like to help, or have additional questions, visit www.casakanecounty.org, or call the office and make a donation at (630) 232-4484. Your gift will be matched at 40 cents on the dollar if made by Monday, Dec. 31.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, and is the title associated with the community volunteers who are appointed by the juvenile court judge to be the guardian ad litem (GAL) for children in abuse and neglect court. CASA Kane County is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the juvenile court system. More than 250 trained community volunteers (or CASA/GAL volunteers) have advocated for 545 children in 2012, which is a record year in numbers served for the organization.

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