CASA hosts Kayak for CASA event to raise awareness and motivate volunteers


WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children, Inc. is proud to promote Kayak for CASA, an inaugural event.

Community members are invited to participate in a day filled with kayaking, food trucks, live entertainment and more.

This event will take place on the popular Wheeling Water Trail on Big Wheeling Creek.

In a statement, CASA said the goal is to promote the CASA organization while showcasing the recreational waterways of the Northern Panhandle.

“Our staff have happily planned this event for the past 2 years as they have spent time with family and friends on Wheeling’s waterways during the pandemic. Kayak for CASA is a great way to host a family fundraiser, raise money and raise awareness of the services provided by CASA,” said Susan Harrison, Executive Director of CASA for Children.

The event is dedicated to raising awareness of CASA’s programs and services for children and motivating passionate individuals to become CASA volunteers and change a child’s story.

Sponsors include AD Baker Homes, Orrick, Jones Electric and Main Street Bank.

There are over 750 programs nationwide and 10 programs in West Virginia.

CASA for Children, served over 500 children last year in Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties.

“We are recruiting volunteers to become CASA Advocates for Foster Children, and we hope this event will give individuals the opportunity to learn more about our organization and how they can help abused children and/or or neglected in our communities,” Kristen Paynter said. , CASA Program Coordinator and Kayak for CASA Fundraiser.

In addition to providing volunteer advocates, CASA supports biological, foster, and kin families through programs that address basic needs as well as specialty items to ease children’s transitions into care.

This includes pajamas, books and toiletries; back-to-school bags and school supplies; Birthday, Christmas and Easter gifts; as well as prom, homecoming and graduation wear.

CASA supports the home study process by helping to provide funds for beds, cribs, car seats, and fire alarms/extinguishers.

The event will take place on Sunday, May 22, 2022 and tickets are $25/per person.

Schedule of the day of the event:

  • 9:00 a.m. – Yoga taught by Joelle Moray
  • 10:00 a.m. – Water safety lesson led by Darlene Stuckey and Janna Gordon
  • The Brunchie Barista Food Truck will be available during the morning for attendees and members of the general public who wish to stop by!
  • 10:30 a.m. – Transportation to the starting point provided by SouthPaw Outfitters and GrandVue Park. Coal Bridge Kayak Float, Marshall Co. at Wheeling’s Italian American Club
  • After the float, you’ll find Southpaw Eatz, Tripps Fun Zone, and live music at the Italian American Club. We invite you to come and join us, whatever your participation in the float.

With over 6,600 West Virginia children in foster care, their mission is to provide quality volunteers who advocate for these children and look out for the best interests of the children we serve.

“Being in foster care means living in a constant state of flux. Homes, schools, families…everything is constantly changing, often suddenly and without warning,” said former foster family Melissa. “The one constant was my CASA volunteer. Without her, I would have been lost in the system,” she added.


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