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Dance and auction will benefit child welfare group
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CASAblanca Gala Event

What: To benefit Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates
When: 7–10 p.m. Nov. 8
Where: Chattahoochee Country Club, 3000 Club Drive, Gainesville
How much: $75 per ticket
Contact: 770-531-1964
More info: www.halldawsoncasa.org

A night of dinner and dancing will help raise tens of thousands of dollars to save and protect North Georgia children.

This year’s CASAblanca Gala Event, the annual fall fundraiser for Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates, will be 7–10 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Chattahoochee Country Club.

Lisa McCarthy, program coordinator for Hall-Dawson CASA, said it will be an “elegant evening of food, dance and silent auction.”

“We only have two fundraising events throughout the year, one in the spring and one in the fall,” McCarthy said. “This is our biggest fundraiser.”

The event raises, on average, $45,000 a year for the program designed to provide advocates for children in the courtroom. The fundraiser will include a short award ceremony, honoring Hall County Juvenile Court Judge Cliff Jolliff, who is retiring at the end of the year.

“We’re really excited about honoring the judge,” said Connie Stephens, executive director of the program. “We’re also excited about having Tasha Hori in from California. She was a former Hall County CASA child. Now she lives in California, is married and doing really, really well. So she’ll be telling us her story.”

Hori became a foster child at 15, after running away from a physically and emotionally abusive home.

Today, Hori is a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She’s writing a novel and hopes to start her own nonprofit to educate law enforcement, advocates, social workers and school officials on how to identify abuse and neglect.

“She actually wrote to us,” Stephens said. “We just said, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re making us cry. You’re everything that we work for every single day.’”

The event will also feature a silent auction for items including vacations, trips, spa visits, golf outings, health and beauty items and one live auction item.

“We’ve got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog, a real one,” McCarthy said. “He’s only 13 weeks old and he is going to be our one and only live auction item.”

The puppy will be at the event for attendees to meet, and the person who wins him will also have a year of his shots and health care paid for in advance.

“He’s very beautiful and will be crate-trained and trained to know the basic commands like sit and down,” McCarthy said.

There will also be a raffle for items including a year’s lease on a Nissan Versa, a $500 gas card and an iPad. Tickets to the event are $75, McCarthy said, and include beer and wine.

McCarthy said she encourages those interested to attend because it’s a beautiful night supporting an important cause.

“It is our No. 1 fall fundraising event, and it is to serve the abused and neglected children of Hall County,” she said. “All the money goes toward advocating for these children, but it’s also just a really fun event.”

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