#b#Stand Up for Kids#/b#

On March 24 Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mercer County Inc. (CASA) held Stand Up for a Child, an event at the Westin Princeton that raised more than $70,000 to benefit abused and neglected children in Mercer County. The event featured the considerable talents of local comedian Helene Angley and headliner Jessica Kirson, a frequent performer on the Tonight Show and many other high-profile venues.

With the 2011 merger of CASA of Mercer County and CASA of Burlington County, the organization served over 250 of the more than 1,000 children in the foster system. CASA recruits, screens and trains volunteer advocates from the community to speak up in Family Court for the best interests of abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes. CASA volunteers are referred to as the eyes and ears of Family Court and are committed to helping their “kids” find safe and permanent homes. The work of our dedicated volunteers brings hope and direction to the lives of children who often are facing the most difficult times of their young lives.

This event would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Diversityinc Media and Roma Bank were our Big Guffaw sponsors, and Bracco Diagnostics and Fox Rothschild LLP were the event’s Hearty Chuckle sponsors. Huge thanks are also due committee member Judy Rice and Aldo Debbi Roldan, whose enhanced donations were greatly beneficial. Ms. Roldan is a board member for CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington Counties. A number of our 150 attendees bid successfully at the Live Auction to provide advocacy services for a CASA child for one year, 6 months, and 3 months, raising about $13,000 of our total.

Spring volunteer training sessions will finish on May 1, with an expected group of 20 new advocates.

Our committed volunteers make all the difference. Please contact CASA at 609-434-0050 or visit www.casamercer.org for the next information sessions at our Ewing or Mount Holly offices or for other ways that you can support CASA.

Randall Kirkpatrick, Community Development

Lori Morris, Executive Director

Thanks so much for your April 18 spread on Offering of the Angels at the Michener Museum. The exhibit opened on April 21, and people lined up at the door over the weekend. I’m sure a good number came because they had read your article. Thanks, too, for capturing the excitement of our just-opened Event Pavilion and our new director, and also focusing on [retiring museum director] Bruce Katsiff and all that he has done — and still plans to do as a photographer.

Ilene Dube

Publicist, James A. Michener Art Museum

Dube, who is also a contributor to U.S. 1, notes that the closing date for Offering of the Angels is August 10. For the duration of the exhibit the Michener will remain open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays.

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