Butler County Times Gazette
  • CASA hosts Rabbit Run

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  • People were running, hopping and gathering eggs during the second annual Tri-County CASA Rabbit Run and Bunny Hop Sunday afternoon at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
    They began with a 5K run, followed by Easter eggs for the kids.
    The event raised money for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, which assist children in court.
    April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the El Dorado City Commission issued a proclamation for that during their last meeting
    During that meeting, Tom Boren, with CASA, talked about what they do.
    “For over 18 years I’ve been involved in different help organizations for children, from my time in Illinois until moving back to the state,” Boren said. “This is the first time I’ve worked this closely with an organization. These folks wear a lot of heart on their sleeves.”
    He pointed out they are not paid and donate their time and services.
    To be an advocate one has to go through 10 weeks of training, then their job is to be the eyes and ears of the court for the child.
    “They try to educate and inform parents who don’t have the skills to take care of their child adequately,” Boren said.
    Advocates are appointed by the court and can spend anywhere from a few months to a few years with a child.
    “Sometimes you have to help work through the separation process for the child to be sent to a foster situation or an adoption,” he continued. “These people literally become engaged with peoples’ lives.
    “The thing about CASA that really breaks my heart is in every dysfunctional dynamic, people make choices to go back to those relationships. The child has no voice or choice in their relationship. Often the advocate is the only person trying to help the child.”
    Tri-County CASA has helped as many as 123 children in one year, with the lowest number being 78 in one year. Advocates may work with several children throughout the year. In addition, children are on waiting lists for an advocate because they do not have enough volunteers.
    Boren thanked the city for their support in the past, saying they have received funding from the alcohol tax fund.
    The proclamation issued stated children are key to the state’s future success and are a most valuable resource, as well as being vulnerable. It urged people to come together as partners so the voices of children are heard.
    (See more photos in our gallery)
    Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@but

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