CASA for Children of Bergen County is celebrating it's 20th Anniversary this year with it's first in-person Casino Night Gala since the pandemic. Bergen CASA, which is under the umbrella of National CASA/GAL. You may ask, what is a CASA? CASA stands for Court-appointed Special Advocates. They are volunteers who are trained to advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care.
This year's Gala will commemorate the anniversary, honoring founding member Lorraine Joewono and veteran volunteer advocate Chip Giamo. It will be held at Season's, 644 Pascack Road in Washington Township on March 22, 2023 from 6:30pm - 10:30pm. The evening will be a Casino Night, with gaming tables, a silent auction and basket prizes. Included in the ticket price of $175 per person is a wide array of scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, food stations and desserts, open bar and $100 of casino play money.
Sponsorships and ticket packages are also available, starting with a couples package for $375 which includes two tickets, and a business card in the Bergen County CASA journal. To purchase a ticket, please visit the website, www.BergenCASA.org or call 201-336-7520 for more information. Donations for the evening's auctions and raffles are very welcome just by emailing: email@example.com. If you cannot attend the event, you can still participate in the online silent auction by logging-on (via the web site) up to one-day beforehand.
Bergen County CASA Board President Zonie LeSane expressed her pride in the organization as it celebrates such a pivotal milestone. She stated, "I want to quote John C Maxwell, who said 'Dreams often come one size too big so that we can grow into them'. I want to thank all the Board Presidents that came before me for helping us reach our dreams. Thank you to all of our founding members and our current Advisory Council Members, especially, Suzanne Ordas Curry (chair and past President), Charlene Barbetta and Ken Konner. This could not have been accomplished without all our current and past Board members, our Advocates, our staff and our community partners who work with us to change a child's story."
About the Honorees
LORRAINE JOEWONO was the President of the Women’s Club of Carlstadt (from 1998 to 2000) when she was invited by NJ CASA to participate in a steering committee which subsequently founded Bergen County CASA. Lorraine has a distinguished philanthropic career, including: Councilwoman for Carlstadt, Woman’s Club 8th District President and former 8th District Performing Arts Chairman. In 1994 Lorraine was voted Bergen County’s Volunteer of the Year, in 2004 she received a Women in Action award, in 2013 the Women’s History Month Humanitarian Award.
CHIP GIAMO is our longest serving Advocate, having been appointed to 7 children over 16 years. He is a resident of Bergen County, former finance/treasury executive at M&M Mars Inc, and a very proud grandfather of 5 grandchildren. He remains one of our most impactful Advocates, exemplified by the fact that Judge Mizdol always included him in chambers for conferences. Chip is the veteran advocate whom we invite to trainings so new Advocates can benefit from his experience. He has left an indelible impact upon all those privileged to work alongside him.
About Bergen County CASA
Since its inception Bergen CASA has changed lives and nurtured hope for over 825 foster children.
Bergen County CASA for Children is the only non-profit in Bergen County whose mission is to provide advocacy services to abused and neglected children who have been placed in foster care. Our CASA volunteers regularly visit the children and obtain information about their medical, educational, mental health, and recreational needs. They provide critical information to the family court judges so they can make sound decisions that are in the best interests of these children.
CASAs 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. Additionally, foster children learn they have a constant person in their lives, that they can rely upon, during a period when everything is in flux. In short, the CASA 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.
CASA receives funding from government entities and private foundations. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain enough grant funding to meet the needs of the children in our community. For your information, Bergen County CASA for Children is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (EIN #90-0060769).
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bergencasa.org. If you would like to make a monetary donation, or become a CASA volunteer or learn alternative ways to help, please call Lucy Rosen, Executive Director at 201-336-7