Community ropes in money for children
By CAMILLE M. DOTY
April 23, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Updated April 22, 2011 at 11:23 p.m.
PORT LAVACA - Casey Brown began roping at an early age and has 50 champion buckles to prove it.
Although Brown comes from a family of champions, the real winners on Saturday were the children who will receive more support through the court system.
Brown was one of nearly 400 participants competing in a roping fundraiser for the Golden Crescent CASA to help abused children. Every contestant paid CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, at least $100 to compete.
Brown, a 20-year-old oil field worker, has taken an interest in the fundraiser during the past five years.
"It makes me feel pretty good to help children," he said.
The avid roper said he enjoys taking an active role, but others, such Courtney Romo, said she prefers to work with young people behind the scenes.
For the past six months, Romo has visited her foster child's school and attended her court dates.
"I'm someone she (her foster child) can rely on. Whatever we share is confidential," the volunteer said.
Romo said it's important to build trust and remain consistent. She said she visits her child at least twice a month and reports to Kathy Cornett, who organized the event. Since its inception, the volunteer case supervisor said she leveraged her personal connections to raise awareness. In her opinion, it wasn't a hard sell to get assistance.
"Cowboys have a heart for anything pertaining to children," she said. "They are very generous."
Other activities at the fundraiser included a bunny grab, calf decorating contest and an auction.
Cornett said her goal is to place a child in a stable home. She said she appreciates the financial contributions, but Tim Hornback, the program's executive director, said he would like to see more volunteers.
He said CASA serves nine counties with 110 cases. The organization has about 50 volunteers, but ideally he would like one person per case.
"Some kids get a pretty raw deal, and it is up to us to help them," Hornback said.
Organizers said they will know later this week how much money was raised at Saturday's event.