Monday, February 24, 2020

NY/NJ Event: Help Kids in Foster at Bergen CASA's Casino Night entitled "Play Like a Champion" With Help from Iconic Sports Figures Carl Banks, Ottis Anderson, Sam Garnes, Eddie Cotton and Eric Murdock

Hackensack, NJ  Have some fun and benefit children in foster care at the same timeCASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children of Bergen County is holding its 16th Annual Event: Casino Night: Play Like a Champion for the Kids on March 19, 2020 from 6:30pm - 10:30pm at The Venetian, 546 River Drive  in Garfield, NJ. Tickets are $125. This year is a special year in that BERGEN CASA is honoring all of its advocates, its champions, and hence notable champions from the world of sports will be on hand for the festivities. Included in the ticket price is a wide array of hors d’oeuvres, food stations and desserts, open bar and $100 in casino play money. There will also be basket raffle, silent auction with mobile bidding and other games in addition to exciting casino-style play throughout the evening. To purchase a ticket, please visit the website, or call 201-336-7520 for tickets and information. Donations for the evening's auctions and raffles are always welcome.  If interested in donating an item or service, please contact ​ There area already lots of signed sports memorabilia. Even if you don't go to the event, you can bid during the silent auction online. Visit the website the day before to access the auction.

"At this year’s event, CASA for Children of Bergen County will be naming all of its advocates as Angel Award recipients," states Zonie LeSane, President of the Board of Trustees of Bergen CASA. She adds, "We recognize them for their outstanding advocacy and realize it is no small job to stand up for a child. A CASA advocate can change a child's story, and we are proud to recognize ALL of them, as a whole this year. We want them all to know how valuable they are.".

Former NY Giants Champion Carl Banks
with Zonie LeSane, President of Bergen CASA
Scheduled to attend the  event to help celebrate the work of the organization will be CASA's 2020 Champion Honorees.  They are  American Boxing Referee Eddie Cotton, former two-time Super Bowl NY Giants Carl Banks and Ottis Andreson, and Sam Garnes, NY Jets. Master of Ceremonies will be retired NBA Basketball player Eric Murdock. Special Guest will be Terrence Coffie, Adjunct Lecturer at NYU.

Suzanne Ordas Curry, Chair of the Advisory Council and last year's Angel Award Recipient states, "We are proud to have so many champions coming to support our champions. CASA is a national organization but we are fighting the issues of abuse and neglect on the local level, helping one local child at a time. We are grateful for the advocates and the champions coming out to support CASA."

About Court Appointed Special Advocates:

CASA advocates are volunteers that advocate on behalf of the county’s abused and neglected children and work to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to these children while helping them move toward safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible.  CASA volunteers are assigned to only one case; either one child or one family of children at a time, which allows them to devote an enormous amount of time to that child so that he/she does not slip through the cracks of the judicial and child welfare systems.  In short, the CASA volunteer is an open-minded and unbiased voice for the child in the court process and a consistent and caring person in the child’s life.  All CASA advocates receive special training needed to help deal with a child in need.
2019 Emcee NBC News Anchor Pat Battle
with Karen Cedzidlo, Angel Award Recipient 

Currently, there are more children in foster care in Bergen County than CASA has the volunteers or financial resources, to handle, and Bergen County CASA's goal is to have an advocate for every child. Advocates are always needed and additional funds help us grow the program. If interested in becoming a CASA volunteer, please visit the website and sign up for an information session. That is the first step, the first step towards becoming a volunteer and the first step to changing a child's story. 

For more information on CASA, email or visit If you would like to make a monetary donation, would like to know how to become a CASA volunteer or would like to know other ways to help, please call Lauren Awe at 201-336-7520 or visit our website. CASA is located at One Bergen County Plaza in Hackensack.