Chicago Tribune – triblocal.com – Geneva
By Courtney Laverty
CASA Kane County, a local nonprofit organization serving abused and neglected children in Juvenile Court, was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from The Dunham Fund in support of its planned Grow a Healthy Child Program & Operational Endowment Campaign. The first $100,000 represents an outright lead gift to the campaign that will be accompanied by a challenge and matching grant of 40 cents for every additional dollar raised by CASA up to a maximum of $400,000 towards the organization’s overall campaign goal of $5 million.
Stewart Beach, Vice Chairman of the Dunham Fund Board of Advisors stated that, “The Dunham Fund is pleased to provide a challenge grant of up to $500,000 to CASA Kane County to preserve the critical services they offer to abused and neglected children in the county. CASA is the sole provider of trained Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem volunteers serving more than 500 children each year. “Their services are supported entirely by private giving with no governmental support and I applaud the leadership of CASA in recognizing the need to endow their programs for future generations.”
The Dunham Fund could provide up to ten percent of the overall campaign goal that CASA has set to support the agency’s programs and services. The endowment will support educational resources for volunteers, volunteer supervision and case management, and the program’s Transitioning Youth Initiative which provides resources for foster youths as they reach independence. All funds raised from CASA’s Grow a Healthy Child Program & Operational Endowment Campaign will be invested in one or more endowment funds at the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley and elsewhere. The interest generated from the two endowments will be used to support the ongoing program development and operational needs of CASA Kane County’s advocacy programs for the children it serves.
CASA Kane County has been appointed to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in Juvenile Court since 1988. Over the past seven years, the organization has also been appointed to all private guardianship cases involving minors. The organization estimates that 500 children will be served this year, a number that sadly has increased annually since 2007, resulting in the need to recruit and train additional Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers each year.
“I am reminded daily of how vulnerable our program is due to the challenges of fundraising. Our endowment fund will ensure that every CASA/GAL volunteer is provided the resources and tools needed in helping some of the most at-risk children in our society,” stated Gloria Bunce, Executive Director of CASA Kane County.
Widely known and highly respected as a champion of education, innovation and collaboration, Mr. Dunham conceived the philanthropic direction that led to the formation of the Dunham Fund. The Dunham Fund supports organizations that work to make the world a more comfortable, safer place for mankind to live and prosper, giving special consideration to Aurora-area organizations engaged in providing education and to organizations engaged in assisting individuals to attain heights they may not have attained without the benefit of such assistance.
For more information about The Dunham Fund, visit www.dunhamfund.org. To learn how you too can support the Grow a Healthy Child Program & Operational Endowment Campaign, and make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children in your community, please visitwww.casakanecounty.org.