Have a roaring good time at child advocate fundraiser

Gaming-themed event to help foster care program
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Kathy Wells has become the “eyes and ears” for a child in the Placer County foster care system. The Penryn resident volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). It’s also a cause anyone can support by attending a benefit for Child Advocates of Placer County, which oversees Wells and other CASA volunteers. The second annual Roaring 20s Speakeasy & Casino Night to be held Saturday, April 25, at the High-Hand Nursery & Café in Loomis promises to be a fun-filled and festive evening. Proceeds from the event will help Child Advocates of Placer County increase the number of children they serve and increase their volunteer base of 88 advocates. That will still leave half of the 400 Placer County youth in foster care without an advocate. “This is by far the most personal kind of volunteer experience that I’ve ever had,” said Wells, who was given her first case last November immediately after taking a six-week training course. As a court-appointment special advocate, Wells has become a powerful voice in the life of a foster youth. “I meet with the child on a regular basis. I meet with the foster parent. I attend court hearings and I do court reports for the juvenile court judge,” she explained. When Wells meets with the child, they might go to dinner, Kings basketball games, the theater or special events put on for CASA, like a holiday party. With close contact, said Wells, she can get to “know if there might be something wrong, or something they need, then we can bring that to the judge.” As advocates, she said, “We’re the eyes and ears for the judge.” Don Kleinfelder, the Child Advocates of Placer County executive director, said the CASA program has been in existence in Placer County since 2004. He said 35 percent of funding is from foundations, such as United Auburn Indian Community and service groups like the Rotary Club; individuals donate 37 percent; and 20 percent is from government sources. They depend on events such as the fundraiser at the High-Hand for eight percent of their funding. “We only do one big event a year, and that’s it,” Kleinfelder said. Tickets for the Speakeasy & Casino Night, which runs from 6 to 11 p.m., are $45 per person, in advance, or $55 at the door. The evening includes fine food and wine, dancing to live music, gaming, a silent auction and raffles. For more information, call (530) 887-1006 or visit Roaring 20s Speakeasy & Casino Night fundraiser Who: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program When: 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 25 Where: High-Hand Nursery & Café, Loomis Tickets: $45 in advance; $55 at the door Call: (530) 887-1006 or visit