A child's life. A child's voice. Lifted up. By you.

Ways to Give

  • CASA, Wine & Art
  • Fritz Coleman Comedy Night for CASA
  • A Day at the Races
  • An Evening to Foster Dreams
  • Donate Money
  • Antelope Valley Event “Helping Children Blossom”
  • Justice Jog 5K Run/Walk
  • Kyle Rudow Memorial Golf Tournament
  • Major Donors
  • Tributes and Memorials
  • Antelope Valley Event “Helping Children Blossom”

    “Helping Children Blossom” – An evening to benefit CASA’s services of support and advocacy for foster children in the Antelope Valley

    The 2015 Antelope Valley Dinner will be 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 will be presented to Susan and John Porter. Deputy Kevin Chapman and CASA volunteer advocate John Peterson will also be honored.

    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.

    The Runners were honored for their commitment to helping children. George Runner served as a Lancaster City Council member and as the mayor before becoming a California assemblyman and then state senator. He now sits on the state Board of Equalization as an elected member.

    Sharon Runner also won a seat in the Assembly and then the state Senate. George Runner authored California’s Amber Alert System, which notifies the public of a search in progress for abducted children. The Runners also authored California’s version of Jessica’s Law, which imposes mandatory minimum prison sentences for sexual offenders convicted of violations against children younger than 14.

    Micah, George and Sharon’s son and his wife Sandy Runner “opened their home to a foster youth” who they eventually adopted. The Runners’ daughter joined the U.S. Coast Guard. Her ship was the first on scene in Haiti following a devastating earthquake. There she helped a young mother deliver a baby. She and husband James DuVall have a child, Paxton. Kay Runner, George Runner’s mother, was thanked for setting an example and “establishing the family values.

    Members from the city also awarded the Runners with Presentations of Commendations. The evening concluded with Sandy Roberts performing “The Prayer.”

    Thank you to our event sponsors:

    Advocate Sponsors
    Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham
    Rick Clutter
    Marvin Crist
    Dr. Abdallah Farrukh
    Skip Hansen
    Kaiser Permanente Panorama City
    Walt Kazyk
    Ed Nahmias
    R. Rex Parris Law Firm
    Sierra Toyota
    Daniel Silva
    Becky Warren
    Johnny Zamrzla

    Party of Four Sponsors
    Bruce Herron
    High Desert Medical Group
    Timothy Hayes Financial
    Frank Vicso
    Jean & Bob Youngquist

    Friend Sponsors
    Courier-Messenger, Inc.
    Ralph Genari
    Timothy Johnson
    Hank and Trudy Marvin
    Sandy Price
    Thompson Von Tungeln, A.P.C.
    Mark Troth
    Jim and Pam Vose
    Steven Ward

    2014 Event Committee
    Jean Youngquist, Chair
    Lesley Bois
    Karen Bowles
    Brenda Gonzalez
    Diane Grooms
    Judi Olson
    Toni Peck
    Sandy Price
    Virginia Richie
    Dan Silva
    Katie Whitman

    From 2004 to 2008, then-Senator George Runner and then-Assemblywoman Sharon Runner were the first husband and wife in California history to serve concurrently in the California State Legislature.

    Elected in November 2010, George Runner currently represents the State Board of Equalization’s Second District. Prior to his election to the Board, Runner served twelve years in the State Legislature. Prior to his election to the State Senate in 2004, Runner served in the State Assembly for three terms, from 1996 to 2002, and previously served on the Lancaster City Council, including two years as mayor.

    Sharon Runner represented the 17th Senate District from 2011 to 2012. She was previously a member of the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2008, representing the 36th District. While in the Assembly she served on the Veteran’s Committee; Housing Committee; Select Committees dealing with Foster Care; the Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse; as well as the Task Force on the Environment, Energy, and the Economy.

    In 2006, along with her husband, Sharon Runner authored Proposition 83, California’s version of Jessica’s Law. The measure passed with the support of 71% of California voters. Jessica’s Law ensures that all sexual offenders who are convicted of activity with children under the age of 14 are put into a prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years or 25 years to life.

    In 1976 the Runners founded Desert Christian Schools, which is now one of the largest private schools in the State of California. The Runners are proud parents of their son Micah, daughter-in-law Sandy, daughter Rebekah, son-in-law James, and four grandchildren.

    For more information about the 2013 Helping Children Blossom event, click here.