Winnebago Co. CASA goes virtual to fund-raise for children in need

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The COVID-19 pandemic has fundraising nearly impossible for non-profits that rely on big events to do so. CASA is one of those organizations. Instead of calling it a loss, the organization is pivoting to a different way of raising money.

Jillisa Bondurant is the program director for the Winnebago County CASA. She says that while they have done great making adjustments, there is still plenty that needs to be done.

“It’s definitely pushed us outside of our box and thinking creatively, so I’m kind of grateful for it,” Bondurant said.

Each spring, the Winnebago County CASA gears up for its biggest fundraising dinner of the year. This season, rather than an in-person event, CASA will host a virtual dinner and auction to keep supporting local children.

“There’s over 1200 children at the mercy of the courts and right now CASA thankfully we’re serving about 240, we have currently 120 volunteers,” Bondurant explained.

Bondurant says they are also expecting those numbers to go up. Proceeds from the event will be used to train volunteers to advocate for neglected and abused children in the county.

“This year with coronavirus and the shelter care in place, we’re anticipating a 20% increase in child abuse, and we’ll probably see it probably toward the end of the summer. So right now we’re really trying to get more volunteers,” Bondurant said.

The virtual auction and 50/50 raffle ticket sales end Thursday evening. Participants that purchased dinner tickets in advance will pick up food from Forest Hills County Club and enjoy the evening from the comfort of their own homes.

“So you can still have like your whole auction evening inside, but with your family,” she added.

For more details on the event and how you can help the organization, click here.

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