Sorority raises money for CASA
Nacho feed helps kids stuck in court system
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 15:04
When the words "queso" and "CASA" enter the ears of the women in Kappa Alpha Theta, they signal much more than just a nacho feed at the sorority's house. To the women in Kappa Alpha Theta, CASA is a program that helps children going through the court systems, and queso means that they are preparing to lend a hand to help it out.
CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, is the national philanthropy of Kappa Alpha Theta. Abby Hammes, the sorority's philanthropy chair, is passionate about the organization's mission like many other members.
"It's a program of volunteers that advocate for abused and neglected children going through the court systems, trying to get them out of foster care and into good homes," Hammes said.
Kappa Alpha Theta raises money for CASA by hosting a nacho feed at their house called Queso for Casa. The event charges an entry fee in exchange for access to a nacho bar, with proceeds benefiting CASA.
This year, the feed brought in approximately $2,000, which Hammes says is important because CASA is facing federal funding cuts.
"It's really important to have events like this so that CASA can still function because it is a program that works," Hammes said. "It's actually been statistically proven that children with CASA volunteers are way less likely to languish in foster care."
The CASA volunteers lend open arms and ears to children whose lives are affected by custody battles and courtroom presences.
Mandy Peine, the sorority's chief panhellenic officer, believes that assisting CASA is something to be taken to heart.
"It's basically for neglected and abused children ... that are going through [the court system] for custody battles and things like that, so that they have a mentor, somebody who will tell them what's going on, someone who's with them from start to finish through these court dates and someone who will hang out with them," Peine said.
This is the third year Kappa Alpha Theta has held the Queso for CASA event, and they did things a little differently to raise more money this time around.
The sorority held a jalapeño-eating contest, accepted donations and hosted a raffle drawing to fundraise for CASA.
"We got a lot of support from the community this year, and we're really excited about all the donations," Peine said. "It's a really special cause that we all hold pretty close to our hearts."