Boots and Bags Bingo set for Saturday

Brown County Judge Paul Lilly hosted representatives from multiple child advocacy related organizations, beginning National Child Abuse Prevention Month by recognizing the efforts of those organizations.

Lilly signed a proclamation recognizing Heart of Texas Children’s Advocacy Center, CASA and the Brown County Child Welfare Board and their volunteers, which was the first of many activities as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month – including Saturday’s Boots and Bags Bingo Fundraiser.

“Government alone cannot meet all of the nation’s needs so we partner with businesses, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations, foundations and individuals who serve in city government in our community to make a difference,” said Lilly while reading the proclamation to the dozen volunteers in attendance.

Although elated with the support of county government Joanne McCraw with CASA said the proclamation is just the beginning with multiple fundraising events going on throughout April. Although organizations often receive grants, McCraw said those grants often come with fundraising requirements in order to prove community support for the organization.  

“We get some of our fundraising through grant resources, but they’re fairly limited in how we can use them. This helps us with the expenses we have with recruiting, training and supporting the volunteers that do the work of the CASA program,” McCraw said. “…“We have to have staff to supervise, train, coach and mentor [volunteers]. There is staff expenses, overhead expenses and even the copier. Plus, grants want to know the community is supportive enough of the mission. Grants will generally never fund you 100 percent.”

Saturday, CASA in the Heart of Texas and the Heart of Texas Children’s Advocacy Center will host a duel fundraiser, Boots and Bags Bingo. The funds generated will go to supplement administrative and supply costs associated with day-to-day business for both organizations and represents one of the largest fundraisers of the year. The event begins with check-in at 1 p.m. Saturday, inside the Aldersgate Enrichment Center. The games begin at 2 p.m. and the event wraps up at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 each and include three bingo cards per round. All non-winning bingo cards will be entered in a drawing for the grand prize purse. Participants must be 18 years old or older.

“It’s a great event. They can come, socialize and have different snacks, the bingo games and with the prizes from bingo there is always a little healthy competition going on,” McCraw said. “Plus, we have a silent auction where we can bring in a few more dollars”

McCraw said the most important part if National Child Abuse Prevent Month is recognizing the impact of child abuse on a community. In 2018, CASA assisted an average of 56 children per day with ts 10,856 volunteers serving 30,136 children. Those looking to report any abusive behavior or exploitation of a child, the elderly or an adult with disabilities can call the 24-hour, toll-free number 1-800-252-5400 or to do so online at https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Statewide_Intake/.