CASA for Kids Provides Advocates for Children – Fundraising Bike Ride July 26

Braydon with his CASA advocate John

Braydon with his CASA advocate John

Sixteen year old Braydon spends his free time texting friends, working out and listening to music. He loves to read and works hard to excel academically; he believes education is his key to a bright future.

When he was 12, after a life time of abuse and neglect, he and his siblings were placed into foster care. Since then he’s lived in 11 different foster homes, group homes and treatment centers.

John is Braydon’s CASA/GAL (Guardian ad Litem) Advocate and has been the one consistent adult in the boy’s life. A retired teacher, John encourages Braydon with schoolwork, sports, and life in general. He helps him maintain contact with his siblings by coordinating visits and encouraging other forms of ongoing communication. At the same time, John continues to search for a permanent adoptive home for each of the children in this family.

“Braydon’s had it tough, and you can tell how much he needs guidance and just a good role model to look up to, so I try to be all of that for him. There are always new challenges in helping him to succeed which keeps me on my toes, and he also keeps me thinking like a kid so that I can understand what he wants and needs. Talking with Braydon is always a great part of my week.” With John’s guidance, Braydon is making plans for his future and is even thinking about a job helping other kids in foster care someday.

Every day, trained CASA advocates, like John, are working for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA for Kids, Inc. of Flathead County trains these volunteer advocates to work with the children, interview relatives and professionals to ascertain the best possible long term solution for the child’s well being and present this information to the District Court Judge presiding over the case.

Last year, 56 CASA/GAL advocates represented 190 abused and neglected children in Flathead County. Unfortunately, 23 children were still waiting for an advocate by the end of the year. Your support can make a significant difference in the life of a waiting foster child. By partnering with CASA for Kids, Inc of Flathead County, you can support the training and support of volunteer CASA/GAL’s as they advocate for the best interests of the hurting children in our community. You can help CASA for Kids, Inc. meet it’s goal of providing an advocate for EVERY foster child. Together we can assure that no child is left without this vital support during a very challenging time in their life.

To help raise money to train additional CASA volunteers so that EVERY child can have an advocate, CASA for Kids is teaming up with Great Northern Cycles for its third annual Cycling for Children ride and fundraiser Saturday, July 26.  In conjunction  with the bike ride, CASA is holding a raffle for a new bike as well as other prizes.

Riders can choose from 40-, 80, or 100-mile routes.  The ride will start at the Saddle Club Park in Whitefish (adjacent to Alpine Market) on Wisconsin Avenue and proceed down the foothills of the Swan Range.  The 100-mile route will extend to the end of Whitefish Lake.  The ride is fully supported with sag wagons, food, beverages and Hammer Nutrition Products.
The The cost is $50 for the 40-mile ride and $60 for the 80- and 100-mile rides.
For more information about the ride, to volunteer to help at the ride or to purchase a raffle ticket call Betsy Bayne at 871-8827.
Individuals and sponsors who would like to support the work of CASA for Kids may send a tax deductible donation to CASA for Kids, P.O. Box 11195, Kalispell, MT  59901