Light of Hope is a national movement to light a symbol of hope for abused and neglected children who are under the jurisdiction of the nation’s family court systems. CASA of Northwest Arkansas hosted its 10th annual Light of Hope presented by General Mills on November 9, 2017. With reservations for 780 guests at the Rogers breakfast and 550 for the Springdale luncheon, we shared our mission with a record-breaking crowd.
Ashley Buchanan, Sam’s Club
Both events began with a 20th anniversary tribute recognizing our founding board members and their commitment to bringing child advocacy to Northwest Arkansas. Breakfast continued with a keynote address from Sam’s Club’s Chief Merchandising Officer, Ashley Buchanan, while lunch featured Sally Grimes, Group President of Tyson Foods.
Sally Grimes, Tyson Foods
Our emcees, Geno Bell, Sr. Director for Walmart, and Dr. Charles Robinson, Vice Chancellor at the University of Arkansas, then introduced our testimonial speakers, Dylan and Shaneace Gard. The Gards, who adopted their four boys out of foster care, shared firsthand how their boys’ CASA volunteers, Diana and Andi, played a critical role in securing their children’s safety and long-term success.
The Gard Family
Net proceeds for the entire event tallied more than $300,000! This was record-breaking for our organization. These funds will sponsor advocates for 252 abused and neglected children for an entire year. There was also an outpouring of interest from attendees – 105 individuals – to train and become advocates for these children.
There are many individuals and companies to thank for making this event such a success. First of all, we thank our sponsors who allow our event, and this impact, to take place. Next, we appreciate our 12 person committee and 125 table captains who worked countless hours to ensure our tables were filled with compassionate hearts and giving hands. And, lastly, we appreciate all of our guests who took time out of their schedules to learn how they could make a difference in the life of a child.
- Presenting sponsor: General Mills
- Benefactor sponsors: The Clorox Company, Coca-Cola, Sam’s Club, and Tyson
- Advocate sponsors: Mercy, Rockfish, and Truity Credit Union
- Patron sponsors: Arvest, Bedford Camera & Video, Cargill, Charles Schwab, Cherokee Casino & Hotel, EY, Jim and Melissa Cole, J.B. Hunt Transport Employee Contributions, Lucke Dental, Matthews Campbell Roads McClure & Thompson P.A., Mitchell Communications, Mitchell Williams, Northwest Orthodontics, Paschal, and Unilever.
2017 Light of Hope Committee: Britt Clem, Susan Duke, Ted Fox, Treva Hamilton, Wayne Hamilton, James Keenan, Kim Lane, Lisa Mayer, Ed Parrish, Guanica Parrish, Mike Schmandt, and Laura Underwood.