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Children's Advocates Plan New Event After Storm Destroys Fundraiser

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Greater Prince William have a new party planned for Friday after a storm destroyed their signature fundraiser.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Greater Prince William (CASA) had set everything up for their signature fundraiser earlier this month: an outdoor, black-tie optional swing dance at the Harris Pavilion. Mindful that heavy winds might be coming through the area, volunteers had surrounded the pavilion with industrial and commerical tents.

But just a few hours before the event was scheduled to start, a severe storm sent tents, tables and centerpieces flying—and endangered one of CASA's largest sources of income. 

“We thought we had done a very good job until that wind came. And ten minutes of wind destroyed us,” said Charlyn Hasson-Brown, CASA's chief executive director. 

CASA will hold a storm recovery auction party on Friday from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. at Appliance Connection, 13851 Telegraph Rd. #101, Woodbridge. While the event's not an evening under the stars, it does promise a good time for all, with free entry, live music, food, a cash bar, and both silent and live auction packages (click on the PDF file to the right to see the auction program). 

Those who can't attend, but would like to bid in the auction, can make a bid on the group's Facebook page or through email, casaofpw@earthlink.net

In addition to losing their largest fundraiser, the nonprofit organization had already paid for music, food, sound equipment and other expenses. Fortunately, the community stepped in to help them recoop some of their expenses. 

Prince William County Supervisor Marty Nohe donated the use of the space at his business, Appliance Connection, and the band "Shake it Up" will play pro bono. In addition, 12 local restaurants donated food. There are also a number of live auction packages up for grabs, including a ride in a historic bi-plane aircraft over a scenic area, a week at a bed and breakfast in Pensacola Beach, and a trip to the Bahamas. 

"This opportunity to make up the auction was very important to us," Hasson-Brown said. 

She added: "Our 'Evening Under the Stars' is our largest most important fundraiser of the year. It draws over a thousand people and supplies a significant amount of funding."

CASA has already served 525 children in Prince William County in 2012. The court system appoints volunteers with the group to serve the interests of abused or neglected children. 

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