Tom North Helps Raise Over $70K at Voices For Children CASA Monterey Fundraising Luncheon
October 3, 2013
Over 250 people gathered at the recent Annual Friends of Voices for Children CASA Monterey Luncheon at Corral de Tierra Country Club in Monterey, California. The fundraising event was an opportunity for attendees to learn about the CASA program and hear directly from the youth who benefit from it. Thanks to contributions and matching gift programs, over $70,000 was raised for the program.
Voices for Children trains and supports community volunteers who support and guide children in the foster care system. CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates) speak up for the children’s best interests and build relationships that help restore a child’s trust. CASAs also mentor youth over age 18 as they transition out of foster care into independent living.
Ethan Hare, Monterey CASA Board Member and Event Chair welcomed people to the event and introduced speakers, Ryan Moses, a local teenager who has been helped by CASA, and Tom North, author of True North – The Shocking Truth about “Yours, Mine and Ours”.
Ryan Moses gave a moving presentation about his story of neglect and told how CASA helped him find a new home and stability in life. “CASA took me in and really saved my life and is responsible for me being where I am today. I’m so happy to support this organization and I’m glad I can give my time to such a special event.”
Award-winning author, Tom North, told his story of growing up in the real-life family made famous by the movie, “Yours, Mine and Ours”, starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. “After my father, Dick North, died, my mother, Helen North who had eight children married Frank Beardsley who had ten children. The North children went from a loving peaceful home into a battle zone. Unfortunately, our new stepfather was a very violent person and our lives were filled with abuse, neglect and fear. There wasn’t a CASA organization then – but there is now and I encourage everyone to do whatever they can to help, and to stop child abuse and domestic violence.”
Tom North’s inspirational story of survival and hope is touching people around the world. Michael Piraino, CEO of National CASA, attended the event. He remarked, “Reading Tom’s book and hearing Tom talk about it gives me the faith that we can change children’s lives no matter what they’ve been through as long as we’re willing to hear the story, come forward and do something to help. That is so exciting because what it helps us do is lift up those lives so they can be who they were meant to be. We help get all the history of abuse and neglect out of the way for them so they can become happy productive adults.”
Corey Pohley, CEO of CASA California, also attended the event and remarked, “This is such an amazing event. Tom and Ryan were so moving. It is great to see all the support that Voices for Children CASA has here in Monterey.”
Pete St. Geme, Board Chair of Voices for Children CASA Monterey, said, “I’d like to thank Tom for his generous support. Thanks to Tom, our young speaker and the generous contributions of this community, we were able to raise in excess of $70,000 to help the young people in our community. We can now provide more children with advocates so we can give them a more meaningful life; give them a voice.”
According to Mr. St. Geme, Voices for Children CASA Monterey is serving about 100 children. There are presently 70 children on the wait list. The goal is to have an advocate for every child and volunteers are needed. Voices for Children CASA Monterey offers ongoing classes for people to find out more and learn how to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Please go to www.voicesforchildrencasa.org or call 831-455-6800 for more information.
Tom North signed copies of his book, True North – the Shocking Truth about “Yours, Mine and Ours” at the end of the luncheon. His book recently won a Living Now Book Awards Gold Medal.