For more than ten years, CASA supporters across Northwest Arkansas have joined together to share our story and inspire others to join our movement. This special event and fundraiser is called the Light of Hope presented by General Mills. 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 (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a non-profit which promotes and supports quality volunteer representation with the goal of providing each child a safe, permanent and nurturing home.
Thank you to everyone who made Light of Hope 2018 a success. The event was attended by over 1,200 people across breakfast and lunch and the total raised from both was $390,000! What an astounding number! We are so fortunate to be in such a generous and caring community. These funds will support the recruitment and training of community volunteers to advocate for 325 more children in foster care in Northwest Arkansas. There also was an outpouring of interest from attendees to train and become advocates for these children.
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.
Emcee for the lunch was Ronetta Francis, President and CCO of Francis Dynamics Consulting Group. Mrs. Franics opened the morning’s event by thanking the many sponsors of the event and introducing keynote speaker Doug Ramsey, Group President of Poultry at Tyson Foods. Brittney Duke (daughter of the original awardees, Mike and Susan Duke) presented The Duke Service Award to Marla Hunt who has been a CASA advocate since 2013 and has impacted dozens of lives during that time.
The breakfast keynote speaker, John Furner, President and CEO of Sam’s Club, was introduced by emcee Jody Pinson who is Vice President of Merchandising, Beauty for Walmart.
The testimonial speakers for both breakfast and lunch, Ryan and Missy Worley, spoke about the profound difference Dayna Cook made for their family by advocating for the two children they’ve adopted.