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CASA volunteers honored as 'superheroes'

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 4:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 6:04 p.m. CDT
Actress and author Victoria Rowell spoke about being raised by foster families Thursday during CASA Kane County's third annual Super Heroes Breakfast, which honored CASA's volunteers.

AURORA – CASA Kane County relies on its 250 volunteers to help ensure that the children they serve will have a bright future.

CASA volunteers were thanked for the work they do Thursday during CASA Kane County’s third annual Super Heroes Breakfast at Piper’s Banquets in Aurora.

A Court Appointed Special Advocate is a trained volunteer who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of an abused or neglected child.

“The CASA volunteers are our superheroes,” Executive Director Gloria Bunce told the audience of about 350 people, which included CASA volunteers. “Every child needs and deserves that hope for the future.”

CASA Kane County was started in 1988 and last year served 556 children, the most it has served since its inception, said Vicki Shaw, manager of annual giving for CASA. The nonprofit organization is 100 percent funded by private donations.

North Aurora resident Jeff Wong has been a CASA volunteer for three years. While he appreciated being recognized, Wong said that’s not the reason he volunteers.

“You get all the thanks from your kids and seeing how they develop,” Wong said.

Also thanking the CASA volunteers was film and TV star Victoria Rowell, the guest speaker at the breakfast. Rowell, best known for her appearances on “The Young and the Restless,” “The Cosby Show” and “Diagnosis Murder,” was raised in foster care from infancy until she turned 18.

“When you take that child by the hand and help them find their place in life, you are making a difference, you are giving a child an opportunity and access to success,” Rowell said.

She spoke about the foster care system and how one of her foster mothers, Agatha Armstead, got her involved in ballet at a young age.

“She knew that I needed some kind of dance lesson,” Rowell said. “She taught me classical ballet out of a book.”

Information about CASA Kane County is available by going to www.casakanecounty.org.

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