By Samantha Oughtred Young, Staff Writer
CASA of Bradley County is currently gearing up for their 3rd annual Red Shoe Gala. The event will be Friday, February 14th at 6:00pm in the historic Old Woolen Mill in downtown Cleveland. In the past, the event’s theme “There’s no Place Like Home” had hints of The Wizard of Oz. As it will coincide with Valentines Day this year, there will be a little twist.
A little background information: CASA is a national non–profit organization that trains volunteers to serve as guardians ad litem for children in the court system. That basically means that if a child is involved in a custody battle or has been taken from his home, a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) might be appointed by a judge to step in and serve as a voice for the child. Because a child is not a “legal citizen” he does not have rights in the courtroom and therefore cannot express his wishes. The advocate investigates his case and prepares a report for what she believes is in the best interest of the child. It is the goal of CASA of Bradley County to keep the natural family together if at all possible while keeping the child out of harm’s way. This is why the theme of the Gala remains “There’s No Place Like Home” as studies have shown it is less detrimental for the child to remain with family (parents, grandparents, etc.) than to enter the Foster Care Program. The name “Red Shoe Gala” refers to Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers.
Because the event will be on Valentine’s Day this year, CASA has decided to step up this event and make it a very special evening that you would love to share with that special someone in your life. In the past, the evening would be spent with heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, light music, and a Red Shoe contest. Businesses may support the event buy purchasing corporate tables. This year, a full dinner buffet will be served. Auction items are piling up, and CASA has hired a fresh new local band to spice up the evening. If you want to really impress your date, you may purchase a “Sweetheart Table” which comes with your own bottle of champagne and a special Valentine. There’s even a champagne fountain and a surprise fun activity that will be sure to have everyone laughing and dancing.
So if you’re looking for a fun date idea for Valentine’s Day, grab your date and buy tickets. Individual tickets are $50 or $75 per couple. If you really wanna have fun, get a few friends together and sponsor your own table for $350. With 8 people at a table, you’ll even save a little cash.
For more information and to purchase tickets you may visit CASA of Bradley County’s website, www.ocoeeadvocates.org.