“Helping Children Blossom” – An evening to benefit CASA’s services of support and advocacy for foster children in the Antelope Valley
The 2016 dinner has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 11, 2016, at the John P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center. The CASA Child Advocacy Award will be present to Don V. Parazo, MD, Associate Medical Director, Department Chief of Family Practice, and Medical Director for Community Affairs of High Desert Medical Group, and Medical Director for California Desert IPA.
The 2015 Antelope Valley Dinner was held on Friday, February 27, 2015 at the John P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center, 43404 30th St West, Lancaster, CA 93536. The CASA Child Advocacy Award was presented to Susan and John Porter. Deputy Kevin Chapman and CASA volunteer advocate John Peterson were also be honored. 135 people attended, and almost $20,000 was raised to support CASA of Los Angeles’ services in the Antelope Valley. Photos of the event can be viewed by clicking here.
The event was sponsored by:
United Way of Greater Los Angeles
High Desert Medical Group
Dr. John and Susan Porter
Jean and Bob Youngquist
The African-American CASAs of LA Congratulates John Peterson and all Honorees
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich
Flewilling & Moody
Kiwanis Club of Palmdale West
Thompson Von Tungeln, A.P.C.
Susan Porter is the Antelope Valley Account Executive of United Way of Los Angeles. John Porter is Assistant Superintendent, Special Education/Student Services of the Palmdale School District. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Porter served the District as a Special Education teacher, a Special Education Program Specialist, an Assistant Principal and Special Education Director. Dr. Porter is active in the community and serves on the boards of directors for the Palmdale West Kiwanis Club (where he is also Vice President) and the Lancaster Performing Arts Center Foundation. Additionally, he is a lifetime member of the Friends of the Palmdale City Library (and a former director), a member of the Palmdale Sheriffs Boosters and is a former Board of Directors member of the Antelope Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. Click here to read John Porter’s speech at the dinner.
Deputy Kevin Chapman is a 33-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He has worked various assignments during his tenure on the Sheriff’s Department, and is currently assigned to Department 427 of the Lancaster Dependency Court. Deputy Chapman and his wife of 31 years have resided in the Antelope Valley for 25 years. They have two adult children.
John Peterson says, “I became a CASA June 2011 because I believe there are too many kids/young adults going to or currently in jail. As an advocate, I want to have a positive impact on a kids’ lives by gaining their “TRUST,” and thus eliminating some of the stress and emotional pain that exists in their life. Additionally, I want to let them know that someone cares and how it feels to be loved. Simply put. The benefits from being a CASA, well, it’s not about me, it’s about the kids. I hope to use my life experiences to allow one, two, three or more kids to be a kid and not a convict.”
We are honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to these exceptional children’s advocates.
The 2014 Antelope Valley benefit dinner was held on Friday, March 7, 2014, at the University of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster. The CASA Child Advocacy Award was presented to Senator Sharon Runner, Senator George Runner and their family by Dilys Tosteson Garcia, Executive Director of CASA/LA. With 150 people in attendance, the event raised over $20,000 in support of advocacy for foster children in the Antelope Valley. Students from Desert Christian High School Choir opened the evening with “We Are Not Alone” while cadettes from Lancaster High Air Force Junior ROTC welcomed guests and escorted them to their tables. The evening also featured guest speaker and 2012 CASA Volunteer of the Year, Linda Galati who shared her experience. Co-host Jean Youngquist also shared her experience as a CASA volunteer and emphasized the need for more CASAs to help foster children.
View photos from the event by clicking here.
2015 Event Committee
Jean Youngquist, Co-Chair
Diane Grooms, Co-Chair