CASA of the Mid-Shore Provides Hope for Local Children
The message of hope filled the air at CASA of the Mid-Shore’s Celebration of Children Holiday Luncheon in The Tidewater Inn’s Gold Room on December 1, 2017. Guests were welcomed to the festive luncheon by Board 1st Vice President Stephanie Nagel, whose thought-provoking comments set the stage for the luncheon’s theme by focusing on the fact that hope is more than a wish. Stephanie gently reminded guests that many of the children served by CASA have dealt with serious trauma, making it challenging for them to believe in a better tomorrow. She explained that CASA of the Mid-Shore strives to help to change each child’s narrative by keeping hope alive.
CASA’s Executive Director, Robin Davenport, gave a moving tribute to the work accomplished by her organization’s Court Appointed Special Advocates, stating that, “CASA is the voice in children’s ears telling them: you matter; you’re worthwhile; you’re lovely; you can accomplish this; you are smart. Our CASA volunteers give children the message that their lives are worthwhile, which can change everything by keeping hope alive.” She then introduced Johnny O’Brien, whose personal story is for anyone who cares about children and the power that each of us has to change the world.
Johnny O, as he likes to be known, was only three years old when he and his five-year-old brother Frankie arrived at candy maker Milton Hershey’s legendary school for orphans after a family tragedy left the boys without parents. Johnny O spoke candidly about his experiences, sharing personal anecdotes with honesty and humility. Emphasizing that “adversity becomes strength when paired with an advocate,” he described how CASA of the Mid-Shore can provide hope to children. Johnny O shared his belief that, “It only takes one moment, one caring adult, and a slight shift in the cosmos to change the course of a lifetime.”
Following Johnny O’s remarks, guests were treated to a soaring rendition of You Raise Me Up, sung by Kent Island freshman Madison Riley. Her beautiful voice, combined with the message in her song, fit perfectly with CASA’s message of hope. Board President Moorhead Vermilye closed the program and thanked the luncheon guests for their continued interest, saying, “Your support is an investment in the healthy future of our communities, and, as you’ve heard today, it helps us deliver hope.” Generously underwritten by the Mary J. and Oliver Travers Foundation; Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye, Inc.; The Hill Group at Morgan Stanley; TGM Group, LLC; Moorhead and Sally Vermilye; Shore United Bank; Joe and Susan Anthony; Chad and Stephanie Nagel; and the Bryson Goss Memorial Fund, this annual celebration recognizes the work accomplished by CASA of the Mid-Shore, as well as serving as a thank-you event for local financial support that is provided to this non-profit organization
To learn more about CASA of the Mid-Shore or to make a donation, please call 410-822-
2866 or visit www.casamidshore.org. Gifts of any amount are deeply appreciated.