Thank you to everyone who made our 2018 Light of Hope presented by General Mills a record-breaking success. More than 1,200 people came together, between breakfast and lunch, to raise $430,000 for your local CASA program! These funds will support the recruitment and training of community volunteers to advocate for 323 more children in foster care in Northwest Arkansas.
Led by a remarkable volunteer committee and 126 phenomenal table captains, Light of Hope highlighted the tremendous work of our current advocates while inspiring all of us to do more. From the moment you walked into the room, your eyes were drawn to a wall of the 154 children CASA was unable to serve last year. It is that shared vision to serve every child by 2020 that led people to give so generously.
This year was unique for us because we found it necessary to schedule breakfast and lunch on different days. And, just to confuse things even more, lunch was scheduled almost a week before breakfast!
The Light of Hope Lunch, on November 8, 2018, was emceed by Ronetta Francis, President and CCO of Francis Dynamics Consulting Group. After lunch service, Brittney Duke presented The Duke Service Award to Marla Hunt who has been a CASA advocate since 2013 and has impacted dozens of children during that time. Keynote speaker Doug Ramsey, Group President of Poultry at Tyson Foods, spent his moments asking people to think about how they can leave their legacy on the life of a child.
The true stars of both breakfast and lunch this year were our testimonial speakers, Ryan and Missy Worley. As foster parents, the Worleys spoke sincere truth about the trials and joys of serving children in foster care and the profound difference CASA Dayna Cook made on their two children.
The Light of Hope Breakfast, on November 14, 2018, was emceed by Jody Pinson, Vice President of Merchandising, Beauty for Walmart. When Jody’s laryngitis prevented her from finishing the program, CASA’s board member Sheerah Davis stepped up to help! Presenting sponsor General Mills was proud to introduce our keynote speaker, John Furner, President and CEO of Sam’s Club. John inspired the audience by relaying true CASA experiences from some of the 30+ Sam’s Club or Walmart associates who also serve as CASA volunteers.
Whether you attended breakfast or lunch, we cannot thank you enough for lighting a symbol of hope for abused and neglected children in Northwest Arkansas.